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Copyright 1920 By 
The University of Chicago 

All Rights Reserved 

Published January 1920 

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Composed and Printed By 

The University of Chicagfo Press 

Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. 


v« I 



This volume is a study in regional geography, the most urgent field 
of geographic inquiry. Geography is among the youngest of the sciences. 
It is not ready, therefore, to announce many generalizations, but must 
concentrate on the systematic and comprehensive scrutiny of individual 
areas, inquiring into the conditions of the past as well as into those now 
existing. The collection of facts in this manner, and in this manner only, 
will lead to the establishment of the principles of geography. Such a 
study implies the attitude of the judge of conditions rather than of the 
advocate of theories. It is concerned with the impartial analysis of the 
conditions of life in a region, not with the enunciation of a theory for 
which evidence is to be adduced. It does not attempt to make out a 
case for the potency of any particular element of the environment, but 
contents itself with asking, What are the advantages and handicaps 
that are inherent in the region in question? The purposes of such a 
study are to furnish an adequate explanation of the conditions of hfe 
in a given area and to contribute proved statements which will aid in 
working out fundamental principles. 

The preparation of regional monographs, numerously represented in 
European countries, has hardly commenced in America. A century 
ago the conditions and resources of various parts of our country engaged 
the attention of many observant writers. These accounts of early 
travelers constitute in fact the greater part of our geographic literature 
to this day. As faciUties for observation increased, their number was 
reduced, until at present there is almost no contemporary geographic 
Hterature other than brief papers. If the curiosity which attaches to 
the unknown has disappeared, the need of correlated information about 
the parts of our country has increased as its parts have become settled 
and developed. This it is the province and the duty of the geographer 
to supply. The present paper considers a single geographic unit. The 
Ozark Highland of Missouri was selected because of its unusual wealth 
of geographic responses and because little is known concerning its con- 
ditions and possibiHties. The size of the area, larger than Scotland 
and as large as Ireland, has precluded an exhaustive treatment of the 
subject. It is rather a reconnaissance, which, it is hoped, may lead to 
more detailed studies. 


The topic is treated in three parts. The first is an outline of the 
environment, that is, a sketch of the region and a statement of the 
geographic factors. Only those things which are pertinent to an under- 
standing of the conditions under which the people live are introduced. 
Rock formations are of significance in this connection in so far as they 
have determined topographic features, soils, and mineral resources, and 
in so far only. No attempt is made to sketch the physiographic history 
except as it contributes to the explanation of surface features, drainage 
conditions, and soils. The mineral resources need discussion only in 
so far as they have been a factor in the development of the region. 
Whatever is more than this may be of geologic, physiographic, or 
mineralogic interest, but is not pertinent to geography. The various 
factors of the environment differ in importance in different parts of the 
area. By evaluating them singly and collectively it is possible to estab- 
lish contrasts between parts of the highland and thus to determine a 
number of smaller unit areas. Each of these subdivisions has internal 
unity of geographic conditions, and is set off from its neighbors by impor- 
tant points of contrast. These natural subregions become the units of 
observation in the sections that follow, in which their past and present 
utilization is observed and compared.' 

The second part considers the influences of environment on the 
settlement and development of the different parts of the highland. Cer- 
tain portions have had continuous advantages, as others have been 
permanently retarded in development. In some parts certain geographic 
opportunities resulted in a period of early growth, soon arrested, whereas 
other sections, later in securing a start, have forged to the front rapidly. 
Three racial groups have possessed a part of the area in turn, with curious 
contrasts in their fortunes under the same environing conditions. This 
historical portion develops its argument by the fullest possible use of 
source materials. Wherever possible, statements from original sources 
are employed to bring out the thread of geographic influences that runs 
through the history of the region. 

Finally, economic conditions are represented as they exist today, 
together with their explanation in so far as they are not merely the con- 
tinuation of institutions the beginnings of which were traced in the 
historical section. In conclusion, a forecast is offered of the lines along 
which the future of the region will be worked out. 

The study here submitted is the outgrowth of long acquaintance 
with the area and of deep affection for it. It is, in fact, a study in home 
geography, a study of the old home with its many and vivid associations. 


Later residence outside of Missouri has supplied a more objective view- 
point without destroying the old familiarity. Systematic field work in 
the fall of 1 9 14 and summer of 191 5 has supplemented the earher 
acquaintance. To consider the region as an outsider has been impossible 
and will always be. With the increasing distance interposed by time 
and space there yet remain forever green the scenes of early years. The 
old white church, astride its rocky point, overtopped by cedars that 
grow on the warm rock ledges, forever looks forth upon the fairest valley. 
The lower slopes are abloom with red clover, or golden with wheat. 
Wide fields of blue-green corn border the shaded stream, where the bass 
lurk in transparent pools. In the distance forests of oak mantle the 
hillsides, up which, past spacious farmhouses, the country roads wind. 
The people who move upon the scene of this account are homefolks ^ 
one and all. Some have succeeded better than others, some give greater 
promise than others, but they are all well worth knowing, and in all 
cases an understanding of their various problems of making a living goes 
far to explain their contrasted conditions. In this spirit the study is 

The first draft of the manuscript was presented before the Seminar 
in Geography at the University of Chicago in 191 5 and there subjected 
to much helpful discussion. The several parts have profited by intensive 
reading and criticism at the hands of Professors W. S. Tower, H. H, 
Barrows, and J. Paul Goode. It is difficult for me to express in any 
adequate way the great debt I owe to my old teacher and friendly 
counselor. Professor R. D. SaHsbury, in the carrying out of this work. 
From its first planning to its publication his aid has been freely given in 
many ways. Grateful acknowledgments are due also to the Geo- 
graphic Society of Chicago for making possible the publication of this 
volume, a study in a field in which avenues of publication have not yet 
been established. 



List of Illustrations ^^ 



I. Introduction 3 

Location 3 

General Character of the Ozark Highland 5 

11. Rock Formations; Their Influence on Topography and Soil 8 

Structure of the Area ^ 

CrystaUine Core ^° 

Sedimentary Formations 12 

Physiographic Significance of the Chert 16 

Solubility as Affecting Underground Drainage and Topo- 
graphic Forms ^° 

III. Erosion Cycles and Their Topographic Results . . . 21 

Grade-Levels ^^ 

Present Stage of Dissection 22 

Characteristics of Streams and Their Valleys .... 23 

IV. Climate 27 

Winds and Storms 27 

Temperature Conditions 28 

Humidity and Precipitation 31 

V. Material Resources 3^ 

SoUs 36 

Residual Soils 36 

Cherty Limestone Soils 3^ 

Non-cherty Limestone Soils 3 8 

Sandstone Soils 39 

Igneous Rock Soils *. . 4° 

Transported Soils 4° 

Loess 40 

Alluvial Soils 40 

Ridge-top and Prairie SoUs of Uncertain Origin . . 41 

Influence of Slope and Exposure 4i 

Land Values ^ • 43 






Lead and Zinc Ores; Baryte; Copper 

Iron Ore 






Variety of Mineral Resources 


Springs and Underground Waters 


Native Life 

Distribution of Woodland and Prairie 

Forest Associations 

Game and Fish . . . 

Geographic Regions .... 
Bases of Subdivision 
Missouri River Border . 
Mississippi River Border 
Springfield Plain .... 
St. Francois Knob and Basin Region 

Courtois HUls 

Osage- Gasconade Hills . . . 
White River Hills .... 
Central Plateau .... 




VII. French Colonization 

Beginnings of Settlement 

Settlement of Ste. Genevieve and Adjacent Region 
Occupations in the Ste. Genevieve District 

Salt Making 

Lead Mining 



Cape Girardeau, and Settlements on the Meramec 
French in the Missouri Valley .... 
IMode of Habitation . . . . . 
Condition of the French Settlements and Its Causes 
Present Distribution of the French Stock . 






VIII. American Settlements in the Missouri and Mississippi Bor- 

Bases of Immigration g6 

Character of the Immigrant Stock loi 

Nuclei of Settlement in the Mississippi Border and the St. 

Francois Region 103 

Settlement of the Missouri River Border 109 

Location and Improvement of the Homestead . . . . 112 

Productive Occupations u6 

Hunting and Fishing 116 

Field Agriculture 117 

Stock Raising 121 

Lead Mining 123 

Iron Mining 126 

Other Industries 128 

Trade and Transportation 129 

IX. Settlement of the Springfield Plain 138 

Routes of Immigration and Pioneer Locations . . . 138 

Nativity of the Early Settlers 140 

Pioneer Occupations 141 

Development since 1850 143 

X. Settlement of the Ozark Center . " 148 

Hunter Frontiersmen 149 

Early Lumbering and Mining 152 

Crop Farming, Stock Raising, and Permanent Settlement . 155 

XL German Immigration 164 

Whitewater Dutch 164 

Immigration, 1830 to 1850 165 

Later Immigration; Spread of the German Settlements . . 170 


XII. The Unimproved Land and Its Uses 177 

Distribution and Ownership 177 

Timber and Its Uses 179 

Hunting and Trapping 184 

The Free Range 185 

Promotion Schemes 186 



XIII. Farming Conditions i88 

Sizes and Values of Farms i88 

Crop Growing 191 

Animal Industries 198 

Truck and Fruit Farming 204 

Conditions of Rural Life 205 

XIV. Mining and Manufacturing 209 

Importance of Mining Industry . 209 

Southwestern Mining Region 209 

Southeastern Mining Region 211 

Quarries and Associated Industries 213 

Minor Mineral Industries 214 

Water-Power Development 215 

Manufactures Not Dependent on Mining . . , . .216 

XV. Transportation and Commerce 218 

Waterways 218 

Railroads 218 

Roads 223 

Commercial Centers 225 

Commercial Relations of the Highland to St. Louis and 

Kansas City 228 

XVI. The Ozarks as Recreation Ground 230 

Fishing and Hunting 230 

Family Resorts 231 

Proposals of a State Park 232 

Conclusion 234 

Index , 241 
























1 2a 













Fig. 16. — 

Fig. 17. 
Fig. 18. 

Fig. 19. 

Fig. 20. 

Fig. 21. 
Fig. 22. 



Topography of the Ozark Highland 4 

Geologic Formations 9 

Section across Ozark Highland 9 

Relation of Igneous and Sedimentary Rocks in a Por- 
tion OF the St. Francois Region 12 

Intrenched Course of the Osage River above Bagnell 24 

Block Diagram of an Intrenched Meander . . . 25 

January Isotherms 29 

Temperature Record for Springfield for Nineteen- 
Year Period 29 

Average Annual Precipitation 30 

Record of Precipitation at Springfield for Nineteen- 
Year Period, 1888-1906 32 

Soil Map • • • 37 

Assessed Value of Land per Acre in Osage County 42 

Soil Map of Osage County 42 

Assessed Value of Land per Acre in Pulaski County . 43 

Soil Map of Pulaski County 43 

Assessed Value of Land per Acre in Iron County . . 44 

Soil Map of Iron County 45 

■Distribution of Prairie and Woodland in Cooper 

County 54 

Distribution of Prairie and Woodland in Miller 

County 55 

"Pineries" in Ozark County, 1855 57 

Geographic Provinces of the Ozark Highland of 

Missouri 62 

Profile across Missouri River Border from Warren- 
ton through Bourbon to the Meramec River . . 63 
Contact between Missouri River Border and Osage- 
Gasconade River Hills at Versailles .... 64 
■Distribution of French Influence in Missouri . . 94 
Areas Having a Population of More than Ten to the 

Square Mile in 1800 97 



Fig. 23 
Fig. 24 
Fig. 25 
Fig. 26 
Fig. 27 

Fig. 28 
Fig. 29 

Fig. 30 
Fig. 31 
Fig. 32 
Fig. 33 
Fig. 34 
Fig. 35 

Fig. 2>(> 
Fig. 37 
Fig. 38, 
Fig. 39 
Fig. 40, 
Fig. 41 
Fig. 42 
Fig. 43 
Fig. 44 

-Population OF Missouri, 1820-21 98 

-Population of Missouri, 1830 99 

-Order of Land Entries in Osage County .... 104 

-Order of Land Entries in Hickory County . . 157 
-Distribution of Population in Missouri of Foreign 

Birth or Parentage 173 

-Land Too Rough for Field Cultivation . . . 177 
-Relation of Cleared Land to Forest in a Portion of 

THE Clarksville Soil Area 179 

-Percentage of Land in Farms in Missouri . . . 180 

-Average Size of Farms 181 

-Average Number of Acres of Improved Land per Farm 182 

-Land Values in Missouri, 1910 190 

-Yield of Corn per Square Mile of Improved Farmlands 193 
-Yield of Wheat per Square Mile of Improved Farm- 
lands 194 

-Yield of Oats per Square Mile of Improved Farmlands 195 

-Yield of Hay per Square Mile of Improved Farmlands 197 

-Number of Cattle per Square Mile 200 

-Dairy Products 201 

-Number of Hogs per Square Mile ...*... 202 

-Value of Poultry and Eggs 203 

-Principal Areas of Mineral Production . . . .210 

-Air-Line Distances from Railroads 219 

-Population in 1910 235 

Plate I. — a, Pilot Knob. A Noted Porphyry Elevation of Typically 
Symmetrical Form; b, Shut-in Portion of St. Francois Valley in 
St. Francois County. 

Plate II. — a, b, At a Shut-in near Hunt's Farm, Reynolds County; 
c, Outline of Cherty Limestone, Probably Potosi, in the Farm- 
ington Basin. 

Plate III. — a, Cedar Glade, Typical of Chert-free Limestone Areas. 
Bonne Terre Formation, Ste. Genevieve County; b, Spring at 
Waynesville, Pulaski County, Issuing from Base of Cliff of 
Gasconade Cherty Limestone. 

Plate IV. — a, Little Piney Creek near Newburg; b, Chert-floored 
Bed of Roubidoux Creek at Waynesville. 


Plate V.^a, Cave at Ozark, Missouri; b, Upland Scene near Sullivan, 
Franklin County, Showing Characteristic Even Sky Line of the 


Plate YI. — a, Undissected Upland South of Licking, Texas County, 
in the Heart of the Ozarks; b, Abandoned Farm on Berryville 
Soil, near Forsyth, Taney County. 

Plate VII. — a, Intrenched Meander of James River above Galena; 
b, Meander Loop on James River at Virgin Bluff. 

Plate VIIL— a, Bluff on Big Piney Fork of Gasconade above New- 
town, Pulaski County; b, Bluff on James River below Galena. 

Plate IX. — a, Field in Howell Soil near Ava, Douglas County; 
b, Pasture and Stone Fence on Howell Soil, near Ava, Douglas 

Plate X.—a, Loess Slopes South of Missouri River, Gasconade 
County; b, Bottom Field Undercut by Roubidoux Creek, Pulaski 

Plate XI. — a, Contrast in Stoniness Agreeing with Contrasted Ex- 
posure OF Slope; b, Big Blue Spring, near Bourbon. 

Plate XIL— a. Sink Hole near Newtown, Pulaski County; b, Upland 
Scene in Missouri Rwer Border near Hermann. 

Plate XIII. — 'Mississippi River Bluffs near McCoy. 

Plate XIV. — a, Rugged Flint Hills at Hahatonka, Camden County; 
b, On the Western Edge of the Central Plateau, Cedar Gap. 

Plate XV. — a, Floating Out Ties at Boss, on Huzzah Creek; b, Clear- 
ing Land in Howell County. 

Plate XVL— a. Clearing South of Vienna, Maries County; b, Corn- 
fields NEAR Lebanon, Laclede County. 

Plate XVII. — u, Upland Pasture near Bourbon, Crawford County; 
b, Angora Goats in Laclede County. 

Plate XVIII.—c, Horse Show at Licking, Texas County; b, Apple 
Orchard at Lebanon 

Plate XIX.— a, Picking Peaches in Southeastern Missouri; b, Spring- 
House NEAR Sullivan. 

Plate XX.— o, Log House in Big River Township, St. Francois County- 
b, Log House and Log Smokehouse near Galena, Stone County. 

Plate XXI.^Hill Farm in Polk County. 

Plate XXII. — a, Prairie Farm near Sullivan, Franklin County; 
b, ScHLiCHT Springs Mill, Pulaski County. 


Plate XXIII. — a, Frisco Railroad Approaching the Gasconade Valley 
FROM THE East by Descending Little Piney Creek; b, Frisco Rail- 
road, Kansas City-Memphis Branch, Located on Divide between 
Gasconade and White River Basins, at Cedar Gap. 

Plate XXIV. — -a, Road along the Crest of a Flint Ridge near 
Hahatonka; b, Unimproved Chert-surfaced Road, Characteristic 
of All Parts of the Ozarks Which Have a Cherty Soil. 

Plate XXV. — -a, Gullied Road near Hermitage; b, Road South of 
Doe Run. 

Plate XXVI. — a, Ford on Spring Branch, White River; b, Road Located 
along Valley Side, beyond Reach of Floods. 





The Ozark Highland, locally known as "the Ozarks," lies in five 
states, Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Illinois. The 
boundaries are for the most part ill-defined, and estimates of area 
therefore may vary considerably: the northern limit is placed usually 
near Glasgow, Missouri, in Lat. 39° 15' N.,' and the southern limit lies 
near Van Buren, Arkansas, in Lat. 35° 30'. On the east Shawnee town, 
lUinois, in Long. 88° 15' W., may be taken as the extreme limit, and on 
the west the Neosho River of Oklahoma, in Long. 95° 15'.^ The high- 
land as thus limited forms a rude parallelogram, the long axis running 
northeast and southwest. The total area may be estimated at 50,000 
square miles, of which about 33,000 are in southern Missouri, 13,000 in 
northern Arkansas,^ 3,000 in northeastern Oklahoma, and the remainder 
in the Shawnee Hills of southern Illinois and in the southeastern corner 
of Kansas. The highland occupies nearly half of the area of Missouri 
and all of the state south of the Missouri River, except the Southeastern 
Lowlands and a triangular area in the Osage Plain on the west (Fig. i). 

The region is a few hundred miles southeast of the center of the 
United States and constitutes the most centrally located highland of 
the country. Together with the adjacent Ouachita Mountains, it 
forms the only extensive tract of elevated land between the Appalachian 
and the Rocky Mountains. The distance to the Gulf of Mexico is, on 
the average, little more than five hundred miles. 

With regard to lines of communication the location of the area is 
singular. If the Shawnee Hills are disregarded, the boundaries of the 
Ozark region are outlined roughly by navigable rivers. These are, on 
the east the Mississippi, on the north the Missouri, on the south the 
Arkansas, and on the west the Arkansas, Neosho, and Osage. Great 
lines of land travel gird the area similarly. The most historic route to 

' Marbut, Missouri Geol. Surv., X, Plate II; Adams, U.S. Geol. Surv., Twenty- 
second Ann. Kept., Part II, Plate VIII. 

^ Snider, Oklahoma Geol. Surv., Bull, g, chap. ii. 

3 Estimated from IMarbut, Soil Reconnaissance of the Ozark Region (Bureau of 
Soils, 1911), Fig. 2. 


the Far West follows the northern margin of the Ozarks. At St, Louis 
routes from Chicago and the upper Mississippi Valley converge, and 
thence, skirting the eastern border of the Ozarks, lead to New Orleans 
and other points in the lower Mississippi Valley. Routes between 
Kansas City and the South flank the Ozarks on the west. All of these 
highways are located marginally to the highland, alijiost irrespective of 

Fig. I. — Topography of the Ozark Highland. Contour interval, 250 feet (after 
U.S. Geol. Surv., Folio iig, and Dictionary of Altitudes, JIf mown" Geol. Surv.,YTiX). 
The area of this study is inclosed by a solid black line. 

its topographic character. Only two important direct lines of communi- 
cation extend across the Ozarks, one between St. Louis and the South- 
west, the other between Kansas City and the Southeast. One railroad 
trunk line from St. Louis to the Southwest, the "Frisco," crosses the 
•Ozarks. Due to the fact that the long axis of the Ozarks runs nearly 
parallel to this line, three other rail routes, which serve the same terri- 
tory but go around the highland, are almost as direct. From Kansas 


City there are two railroads running southeast across the Ozarks. 
These roads, however, are recent and are^not as yet of great commercial 
importance. The Ozarks occupy, therefore, almost an insular position 
with reference to great thoroughfares, being closely surrounded, but 
hardly invaded, by them. This condition is due in part to the obstacles 
which the region presents to travel, but more largely to its accidental 
location outside of direct Hnes of communication between important 


Because of the complex topography and other readily apparent 
contrasts between its different parts, the Ozark region has been given 
various appellations. The term "mountains" is the oldest, and is most 
employed in the very rugged Arkansas portion, where the name "Ozark" 
also originated.^ It is not appropriate to the Missouri part of the 
Ozarks, has never been in common use there, and is resented by the 
inhabitants. The term "plateau" properly describes only the western 
third and is so limited in local usage. For the remainder of the area it 
is correct only in a technical physiographic sense, and is decidedly mis- 
leading otherwise. For certain large but discontinuous tracts the name 
"hills" is appropriately used. "Dome" and "uplift" are geologic, 
not geographic, expressions. The name best suited, because not too 
specific, is "highland." It is applicable to the mountain, plateau, and 
hill sections, as well as to the gently sloping border areas. 

The Ozark Highland has three distinguishing characteristics of 
surface: (i) elevation generally higher than that of the surrounding 
regions; (2) greater rehef; and (3) general accordance of summit levels.^ 

» The abbreviation of place-names is common with the French of America. For 
instance, the old village of Cahokia, across the river from St. Louis, was known as 
Caho (Stirling [1765], in Illinois Historical Collections, XI, 125). Kaskaskia was 
spoken of occasionally as Cas (Alliott, in Roberts, Louisiana under Spain, France, and 
the United States, p. 133). Many French place-names were proper nouns compounded 
by means of a preposition with a common descriptive noun, as prairie, river, portage, 
post, etc. In such cases popular usage not uncommonly retained only the preposition 
and part of the proper name. The village on the Kaskaskia became shortened to 
Au Ka (Monette, History of the Valley of the Mississippi, 1, 43), the river landing being 
still known as Okaw. Similarly, the French post on the Arkansas, and the river, were 
shortened to "aux Arcs" or " Aux-arcs" (Bradbury, in Thwaites, Early Western Travels, 
V, 36). In pioneer days the names "Arkansas" and "Ozark" were used inter- 
changeably, and were applied to the Arkansas River, its drainage basin, the highland 
north of it, and the post near its mouth (cf. Ashe, Travels in America, pp. 273, 275, 
276; also Cuming, "Tour of the Western Country," in Early Western Travels, IV, 299). 
It is noteworthy that the region first received a distinctive name in its most rugged 
portion, although this was not the first part to be explored nor to be settled. 


Genetically the highland is an elevated peneplain, developed upon 
domed rocks, which are for the most part highly resistant to erosion. 
It has been uplifted very unevenly, and, being composed of different 
rocks situated at exceedingly varying distances from vigorous drainage 
lines, its various portions have been modified in different ways and to 
different degrees by erosion.' 

The general character of the topography is shown in Fig. i. The 
highest elevations are in the Boston Mountains of Arkansas and are 
about 2,300 feet above sea-level. The average elevation of the Boston 
Mountains is about 1,800 feet, and the height above the adjoining Arkan- 
sas Valley 1,400 to 1,800 feet. This section has been sculptured into 
truly mountainous forms by the Arkansas and White river systems. 
The Ozark region proper lies for the most part north of the White River. 
It forms a broad elliptical shield, the main axis of which extends from the 
northwestern corner of Arkansas through Springfield and Cedar Gap, 
Missouri, to the Mississippi River in Ste. Genevieve County. This 
axis is also the principal watershed. Near its eastern end are several 
isolated knobs more than 1,700 feet above sea-level, one, Taum Sauk, in 
Iron County, being approximately 1,800 feet. In the southwestern part 
of Missouri, in Wright County, are a number of elevations about 1,700 
feet above the sea. The average elevation of the crest is estimated at 
1,300 feet.^ The northern slope of the shield is more gentle than the 
southern, because it is longer and also because the elevation of the glacial 
prairies, which are adjacent to it on the north, is four to five hundred 
feet above that of the lowlands of the Mississippi Embayment which lie 
at its southeastern margin; Most of the eastern crest lies well below 
the average of the whole western flank. 

The western part of the Missouri Ozarks, although highest on the 
whole, is most remote from drainage lines, and has therefore been eroded 
only slightly, whereas most of the eastern region is maturely dissected. 
The western part is still a plateau; the eastern, on the other hand, is 
principally rough hill country, formed by the intricate dissection of the 
.plateau surface. The borders have in general a less rugged topography 
than the interior sections, because of lower original elevation, and, except- 
ing the western border, because their erosion is well past the stage of 
greatest relief. 

' Bradbury, in Early Western Travels, V, 244-45, first expressed the true character 
of the Ozarks. Comparing them to the plains, he said: "Although the surface is more 
broken and uneven, it is entirely owing to the more powerful action of the streams." 

^ Marbut, Soil Reconnaissance, p. 11. 


The Ozarks are bounded on all sides by plains. Except on the south 
and southeast the transition from highland to plain is very gradual. 
On the southeast the margin of the Mississippi Embayment forms a 
clear-cut boundary. On the south the Boston Mountains constitute 
a well-defined escarpment bordering on the Arkansas lowlands. On the 
basis of elevation the borders on the west, north, and east are transition 
zones many miles in width. With the aid of additional geographic 
criteria it is possible to limit these boundaries more narrowly (Figs, i 
and 17). For the state of Missouri they are determined as follows: 
(i) On the west, from the state line north of Joplin to the Rock Island 
Railroad north of Warsaw, the boundary is roughly at the contact 
between the Mississippian and Pennsylvanian rock series and is marked 
approximately by the courses of the Spring and Sac rivers.^ (a) These 
rivers occupy a broad, shallow trough, which divides the Ozarks from 
the high prairies to the west, {h) To the east of the two rivers the soil 
is derived mostly from cherty limestones typical of the Ozarks. To the 
west it is formed from shales, yielding a type of soil almost unknown in 
the Ozarks. (c) Where dissected the Mississippian limestone gives rise 
to narrow, steep-sided valleys, whereas the Pennsylvanian shales result in 
wide, gently sloping valleys, {d) The chief mineral wealth of the region 
included within the western Ozarks is zinc and lead; in the adjacent 
regions the chief resources are coal, oil, and gas. (2) From the vicinity 
of Warsaw north to the Missouri River the boundary is drawn chiefly 
on the basis of contrasts in dissection and in soil, again based partly on 
differences in geologic formations. (3) Along the Missouri the belt of 
hills north of the river is included. Their narrow, winding ridges, 
capped with a heavy clay soil, their many deep valleys with cherty 
stream beds and numerous cliffs, and their rehef stamp these hills as a 
counterpart of the region south of the river. Their topography is the 
expression of a well-advanced dissection of rock formations. The 
country to the north of this belt is smooth glacial prairie. 

In the following chapters of Part I the various geographic conditions 
which give individuality to the Ozark Highland of Missouri and differ- 
entiate its parts will be examined. The main thesis is taken up in 
Parts II and III and consists of an inquiry into the manner and extent 
of geographic influences in the past development and present utilization 
of the region by man. 

' See geological map of Missouri; also soil map, in Marbut, Soil Reconnaissance. 





Structurally the Ozarks are a broad, asymmetrical dome, whose apex 
is formed by the igneous rocks outcropping in St. Francois and adjacent 
counties (Fig. 3).* From this crystalline core the rocks dip outward in 
all directions, well beyond the limits of the area covered in this report 
(Fig. 2). Over a large part of the Ozark Highland the doming has been 
so slight that the rocks appear to the eye to be horizontal. On the 
margins dips in general are steeper than in the central parts (Fig. 3), 
and faults, minor folds, and fractures have developed.^ In the uplift 
is included the complete Paleozoic section of Missouri as well as a number 
of pre-Cambrian formations. This geologic diversity has expressed 
itself in extraordinarily varied surface features, soils, and mineral 
resources. Geologic structure therefore determines the principal 
geographic contrasts shown by different parts of the highland. 

As a result of the doming and of the truncation of the dome by 
erosion, the rock outcrops are arranged in concentric belts (Fig. 2). 
Near the margins of the area the belts are most numerous and narrowest, 
and the contrasts in the resistance of the rock formations are greatest. 
Here the less resistant rocks have been worn down to lowland strips, 
whereas in places the more resistant ones form escarpments. Ste. 
Genevieve County, on the eastern border, has three escarpments and 
three lowlands, with an almost diagrammatic development of scarp 
faces, back slopes, and frontal lowlands.^ On the northern and eastern 
borders, in spite of the drainage, which is transverse to the strike of the 
rocks, several scarps are recognizable, and in places these form con- 
spicuous features of the landscape. The largest escarpment of the 
Ozark region, as well as one of its most striking landmarks, is on the 
western margin, where the Burlington limestone forms a ridge several 

' Winslow, U.S. Geol. Surv., Folio 154, p. 4. 
* Ha worth, Bull. Geol. Soc. Amer., XI, 240. 

3 Marbut, Missouri Geol. Surv., X, 29-73, gives an extended discussion of 
these scarps. 



hundred feet high, extending from Arkansas northward into Polk 

In spite of the banded character of the outcrops, the drainage is 
not adjusted conspicuously to rock structure. This is due to (i) the 
slope of the surface, (2) the stage of erosion, and (3) the relatively small 



K I^Si"^! 



Fig. 2. — Geological formations (after Missouri Bur. Geol. and Mines and oflacial 
handbook of 1904, The State of Missouri). 


rrg?ft-';f1,-J^|f:^.y i| .f a ya,^f^i,|ir ., 'ij77 ^- , r,^T7^ 

Fig. 3. — Section across Ozark Highland along line A-A' of Fig. i (after U.S. 
Geol. Surv., Folio iig). 

areas of outcrop of weak rocks. The drainage is in large part down the 
slope of the dome, radial from its center; the larger streams therefore 
tend to have courses normal to the strike of the rocks. Except on the 
borders of the Ozarks, the present cycle of erosion is not sufficiently 
advanced for an extensive adjustment of tributaries to the weaker beds, 


which, moreover, have small and discontinuous outcrops. In addition 
to the escarpment areas of the border sections, adjustment of drainage 
has taken place principally in the apex area of the geologic dome. In 
the latter, which corresponds to St. Francois County and parts of the 
adjacent counties, contrasts in resistance of rock formations are greatest 
and consequently the greatest amount of adjustment has taken place. 


The crystalline rocks of Missouri lie within an area about seventy 
miles square (Fig. 2).^ Their main outcrop is in a compact body, situated 
south of Bismarck between the two lines of the Iron Mountain Railroad. 
Chiefly to the south and west of this mass are many isolated outcrops, 
which are scattered through eleven counties. The largest of these have 
a diameter of eight to twelve miles, whereas others are but a few rods 
across. The contact surface of the igneous rocks is irregular, due in 
part to bowing and folding, but largely to a topography of great rehef 
at the time of their burial beneath the Cambrian sediments.^ Erosion 
is re-excavating this buried mountain mass in very irregular fashion. The 
smallest outcrops have in general been uncovered most recently. The 
longer the outcrops of igneous rock have been exposed to erosion 
the greater are their areas and their relief. 

The two kinds of crystalline rocks which are important topographi- 
cally are rhyolite, locally known as "porphyry," and granite. The 
area of outcrop of the rhyolite is about three times as great as that of 
the granite, the latter being dominant only in the eastern part of the 
crystalline rock areas, between Fredericktown and Doe Run. 

The igneous rocks are by far the most resistant formations of 
the Ozark Highland, the compact porphyry excelling in this respect the 
coarser- textured granite. As a result, these rocks, and especially 
the porphyry, form the highest and most conspicuous elevations of the 
state. It is asserted that their elevation is in part the result of recent 
local upwarping.^ In the St. Francois region the hills of igneous rock 
rise from 500 to 843 feet above the surrounding plain, which is underlain 
by sedimentary rocks. The form of these elevations is rather aptly 
described by the popular name "knob." In principal part they are 
extraordinarily symmetrical cones with small summit areas. Pilot 

' Keyes, Missouri Geol. Surv., VIII, 84. 

= Buckley, Missouri Bur. Geol. and Mines, Ser. 2, IX, 17. 

3 Keyes, Bull. Geol. Soc. Amer., VII, 374. 


Knob (Plate la) is an excellent example. The granite knobs have 
larger summit areas and lesser slopes than those of porphyry. The 
slopes rarely exceed 20°, and in the case of the granite areas are consider- 
ably less. The symmetry of the knobs and their low angle of slope are 
due largely to the accumulation of talus. Jointing along intersecting 
planes has broken the massive rock into blocks, which are usually large 
in the case of the granite, small and very angular in that of the porphyry. 
The blocks of coarse-textured granite readily become rounded by 
weathering, as in the well-known Elephant Rocks at Graniteville, an 
aggregation of huge bowlders resulting from spheroidal weathering. 
The residual sand and clay are washed down slope, and the rounded 
bowlders in time roll downhill. Blocks of porphyry, on the other hand, 
weather very slowly, and because of their angularity do not roll down 
slope. There is therefore a greater tendency for the granite knobs to 
possess a large abutment of talus than is the case with the porphyry. 
Granite bowlders become lodged in the beds of adjacent streams in con- 
siderable numbers, partially blocking them, and thus cause pools and 
rapids to be formed. 

Both sorts of rock give rise to a stiff clay soil, which is thin and infer- 
tile. The granite, weathering more rapidly than the porphyry, is con- 
cealed for the most part beneath a cover of mantle rock. On the 
porphyry knobs, however, jagged rock masses protrude conspicuously. 
Because of the poor soil the areas of igneous rock have remained forested 
in the main. 

Streams which flow over the igneous rocks have eroded valleys not 
much wider than their channels, and their beds are marked by series of 
rapids. These gorges are impassable, or nearly so, and with their barren 
walls and turbulent waters afford some of the wildest scenery of the 
Ozarks. Many stream courses are in igneous rock for a short distance 
only, traversing in numerous cases a single ridge. Above such gorges 
most of the streams of this type flow in broad valleys, floored by Hme- 
stone or sandstone, their beds worn down to grade (Plate I b). The 
extensive fields and numerous roads and dwellings above the gorge are 
in striking contrast to the wilderness of the crystalline rocks below. 
These places, at which streams cross igneous barriers, are called "shut- 
ins" (Plate II a, b). The best known is that of the Arcadia Valley, 
in Iron County, where the "stream cuts directly across a narrow ridge 
of porphyry, notwithstanding the fact that the ridge terminates less 
than a mile south of the gap, and is there surrounded by limestone strata 
in which the creek channel could have been cut with one-tenth of the 


energy expended in excavating its present course."^ Fig. 4 shows the 
geologic relations of a number of these shut-ins. The streams at such 
places have cut through the sedimentary rocks into the buried ridges of 
igneous rock, and are therefore superimposed. Where this has happened 
a gorge is cut and a local base-level is developed on the sedimentary rock 
above the narrows. The shut-ins isolate the valley settlements above 
them very effectively, the inhabitants living in large measure inde- 
pendent of other settlements, but 
with close social relations among 

For each example of superim- 
position there are several of suc- 
cessful adjustment. To such an 
extent has adjustment taken place 
that almost all remnants of sedi- 
mentary rock which fill old de- 
pressions in the igneous rock have 
become valleys (Fig. 4, Doe Run, 
St. Francois River, and Washita 
Creek). As a result the sedimen- 
tary patches are being stripped 
away rapidly, so that in some 
cases their removal hardly in- 
volves considerations of geologic 


^CrjstaUinc Rocks 

Fig. 4. — Relation of igneous and sedi- 
mentary rocks in a portion of the St. Fran- 
cois region. Arrows indicate the location 
of gorges in the crystalline rocks, above 
which lie "shut-ins" (after Missouri Bur. 
Geol. and Mines, Ser. 2, IX, Plate XV). 

The sedimentary rocks, dis- 
posed around the crystalline core, 
consist of limestones, sandstones, and shales. Predominantly the Ozark 
Highland is a region of cherty dolomitic limestones. This is true 
especially of the central Ozarks, in which cherty magnesian lime- 
stones determine the surface features over thousands of contiguous 
square miles. On the margin of the area lithologic conditions are 
more complex, sandstones and shales are more abundant, the hme- 
stones are less cherty^ and less dolomitic, and the formations outcrop 
in narrower and more regular belts. These conditions have helped to 

^Missouri Geol. Surv., Sheet Report III (1894), p. 10. 

^ An early soil map of Missouri differentiated the Ozark border soils from those of 
the center chiefly by chert content. See soil map in The Slate of Missouri (1904). 


develop a contrast both in topography and soils between the central 
and border sections. 

The stratigraphy of the central Ozarks and of part of the border 
region is known very imperfectly. The differentiation of the Cambro- 
Ordovician, as shown in Fig. 2, is only a rough approximation but indi- 
cates important lithologic differences and thus enables the establishment 
of contrasts in topography and soil. 

The crystalhne rock area is almost surrounded by a series of sedi- 
mentary rocks of very inferior resistance, including the La Motte sand- 
stone, Bonne Terre limestone, and Davis shale. ^ In the majority of 
places these formations are not distinguishable from each other by 
their topography. They form in common a smooth lowland, in striking 
contrast to the rugged topography of the neighboring igneous masses 
and to the ridges of the Gasconade and Potosi limestones (Plates I h and 
II c). On its eastern margin the La Motte sandstone forms numerous 
high knolls of almost bare rock, erosion remnants due to a hard local cap. 
Where the Bonne Terre limestone is being eroded vigorously, steplike 
slopes of nearly bare rock are developed (Plate III a). In most places 
the La Motte sandstone has a covering of light, sandy soil. The soils 
of the Bonne Terre and Davis formations are moderately heavy clay 
loams, commonly red or gray, and are probably the most fertile residual 
soils of the Ozarks. 

A scarp of the Gasconade and Potosi limestones surrounds the La 
Motte-Bonne Terre group. In basins of the latter formations these more 
resistant rocks form numerous conspicuous outliers (Plate II c). The 
Potosi limestone, with the very similar Gasconade formation, dominates 
the topography from the Meramec River south to the alluvial lowlands 
of southeast Missouri, including most of the drainage basins of the Mera- 
mec, Current, and Black rivers, and those parts of the St. Francois and 
Castor systems lying south of the crystalhne core. The Gasconade 
limestone is the controlling factor also in the topography of the middle 
Gasconade Valley and of a large area on the Osage River centering in 
Camden and Miller counties. The formations consist for the most part 
of dolomite interbedded with large quantities of chert. Bed rock is 
rarely seen at the surface, as in most places it has weathered back until 
it is protected by a casing of chert. The chert, being fine-textured, 
compact, nearly homogeneous, chemically inert, and in large masses, 
resists erosion with a high degree of success. In places the apparent 
resistance of these rocks is due to a capping of hard sandstone. Because 

' Buckley, op. ciL, pp. 20-44. 


it fractures into flattish pieces it is not removed readily from the slope 
on which it has weathered out. After a time, therefore, its loose frag- 
ments form a riprap on the hillsides, which checks further erosion. 

The region underlain by Gasconade and Potosi limestones has the 
steepest average slopes of any part of the Ozarks. Although it does not 
have the greatest relief, it is the most rugged highland country in 
Missouri, constituting a maze of deep, narrow valleys and almost knife- 
like ridges. Many of the tributary streams occupy blunt-headed valleys 
with a depth of one to two hundred feet. Ordinarily these valleys show 
only obscure traces of a stream channel. They are lacking, therefore, 
in one of the most important characteristics of stream-cut valleys. 
Ozark valleys of this type have been assigned to subterranean solution, 
continued until the roof has caved in.* For valley formation by this 
process the Gasconade limestone affords the proper conditions. Solu- 
tion is extraordinarily active in it, as is attested by the great number of 
large caves and springs and by the small amount of surface drainage 
(Plate III b). Because of the thickness and resistance of the chert beds 
the intercalated limestones may be removed to considerable depths before 
the skeleton structure of the chert gives way. 

The soils of this area are the least desirable of any in the Ozarks, 
excepting only the crystalline rock soils. They are not deficient in 
fertility, but are excessively stony, and with few exceptions the slopes 
are too steep for ordinary cultivation. 

The Roubidoux sandstone is the most widely distributed clastic forma- 
tion. It was named after a tributary of the upper Gasconade, on which 
it is typically developed. It "occupies the surface of many of the 
ridges and flat- topped divides throughout the Ozarks."^ The largest 
outcrop is in Dent County, south and west of Salem. Here it forms a 
tract of fairly smooth land, with open, shallow valleys. It is in general 
not resistant to erosion, but varies greatly in character.^ The soil 
derived from it is on the whole poor, thin, and easily eroded, as well as 
deficient in capacity for retaining moisture and humus materials. 

The Jefferson City limestone forms a belt around the older formations, 
unbroken except in southeast Missouri, and broadest on the west and 

' This origin was suggested by Nason in 1892 (Missouri Geol. Sttrv., II, 92) . Perdue 
{Jour. Geol., IX, 47-50) accounts for valleys in the Arkansas Ozarks in the same 
manner. Ball and Smith come to a similar conclusion in Miller County, Missouri 
{Missouri Bur. Geol. and Mines, Ser. 2, I, 6). 

^ Buckley, Missouri Bur. Geol. and Mines, Ser. 2, IX, 60. 

3 Ibid. 


south. The formation contains several beds of soft argillaceous dolo- 
mite, or "cotton rock." Chert is represented abundantly, but certain 
horizons are quite free from it. Where the non-cherty limestone has 
been subjected to vigorous erosion it forms conspicuous outcrops of 
bare rock or " balds," as in the White River region.^ Largely because of 
the abundance of cotton rock, the formation weathers rapidly and there- 
fore does not form steep slopes as a rule. Because of the lithologic 
diversity the soil is also of varying quality, but in general above the 
average of the Ozarks, both as to depth and fertiUty. It is for the most 
part heavy clay, some of it chert-free, some mixed abundantly with 
chert. On exposure much of the chert breaks up into small cubical 
fragments, and thereby ceases to be a troublesome factor in agriculture. 

The remaining formations, younger than Cambro-Ordovician, form 
for the most part narrow outcrops on the borders of the highland and have 
varied characteristics. 

The St. Peter sandstone extends in a narrow, interrupted belt from 
Callaway to St. Charles County, and thence southward to Cape Girar- 
deau County. The width of outcrop at its maximum is eight miles.'' 
The rock is composed uniformly of fine, poorly cemented sand and 
weathers rapidly, forming a smooth lowland with poor, sandy soil. It 
is overlain as a rule by a resistant limestone. In combination with its 
cap rock the St. Peter gives rise to one of the important scarps of the 
eastern and northern borders, the Crystal Escarpment.^ 

The St. Peter is succeeded by a score of other formations lying within 
the boundaries of the Ozarks. Most of these are of very Hmited distribu- 
tion and inconsiderable thickness, and hence not of significant influence 
on surface and soil. Only one, the Burlington limestone or Boone chert, 
determines to any large extent surface conditions on the margins of the 
highland. It is one of the thickest and purest limestones of the state, 
except for its massive beds of chert. The formation resists erosion very 
well. Streams which have trenched it have for the most part formed 
narrow valleys with numerous cliffs and barren, cherty slopes.^ On the 
western and eastern flanks of the Ozarks the limestone is underlain 
by much weaker beds and has formed the highest and most persistent 
escarpment in the state.^ In southwest Missouri the back slope of the 

■ Marbut, Soil Reconnaissance, p. 34. 

^ Marbut, Missouri Geol. Surv., X, 38-40. 

3 Shepard, U.S. Geol. Surv., Water Supply and Irrigation Paper igs, p. 21. 

•* Marbut, Missouri Geol. Surv., X, 41-43. 


scarp is a broad, gently rolling plain, in which the city of Springfield 
lies and which has been called the Springfield Structural Plain/ Because 
of the flat surface a deep soil has been formed, which, although cherty, 
is very fertile. On the north and east the formation has been dissected 
more severely than on the west. In interstream areas of the White 
River basin, on the Arkansas border, a number of outliers of the Burling- 
ton limestone have been preserved. They form conspicuous buttes, 
overtopping by several hundred feet the hills that have been formed by 
the erosion of older rocks. They are called "knobs" or "mountains" 
locally, and because of their striking position in the landscape they have 
for the most part received individual names, a thing of rare occurrence 
in the Ozarks. 


The Ozarks contain probably more chert, or flint, as it is called, than 
any other similar area. Over nine-tenths of the surface chert is so 
abundant that it covers the roads, chokes the stream beds, and in many 
places all but obliterates the soil (Plate DC a). The only parts of the 
highland largely free from it are the sandstone. Bonne Terre limestone, 
and Davis shale regions, and some of the cotton-rock areas of the Jeffer- 
son City limestone. 

The chert ranges from small nodules to massive beds. In most 
places it has weathered into flattened fragments of conchoidal fracture. 
Because of this form it is moved with difficulty by the agencies of erosion. 
Typically the chert consists almost entirely of silica, and is therefore 
little subject to chemical disintegration. Because of its hardness, fine 
texture, and compactness it suffers little from mechanical weathering 
or from corrasion. With the possible exception of the porphyry it is 
the most durable material in the Ozarks. Consequently, the longer the 
weathering and erosion of a surface the greater is the quantity of chert 
found on it, if the underlying formation is chert-bearing. 

Chert aids in the accumulation of soil, especially on steep slopes. 
Under normal conditions there is enough soil on the flint hills for the 
satisfactory growth of trees and grasses, even where slopes are steepest. 
Rock exposures are rare. In the Gasconade, perhaps the chertiest of all 
formations, it is very difficult to find a rock exposure more than a few 
feet square, unless the slope is being undercut by a stream. On the other 
hand, the chert-free cotton rock of the Jefferson City formation and also 
the chert-free Bonne Terre limestone abound in bare rock surfaces. 

' Marbut, Missouri Geol. Surv., pp. 60-65. 


These are called " balds " if they form the tops of hills, otherwise "glades " 
(Plate Ilia). The upper White River and its tributaries east of 
McDonald County form a region of many balds and glades, where the 
chert-free cotton rock of the Jefferson City hmestone outcrops (Plate 
VI 6).^ Here the gleaming white hmestone shelves are interrupted 
horizontally by thin lines of cedar (Plate III a) and of scrub pine which 
have found a footing on the narrow ledges. Scenically this region is 
most unlike the uniformly tree-clad slopes of the flint hills. On a 
smaller scale the Big Niangua Valley reproduces these conditions. 
In the flint-free sections the weathered material may be washed down 
the steep slopes approximately as fast as it is formed. The flint frag- 
ments, on the other hand, cHng to the slopes on which they have weath- 
ered out, and between them soil accumulates. They also tend to keep 
the soil porous, and as a result there is remarkably httle soil erosion, 
considering the angle of slope. 

The characteristic stream bed of the Ozarks is floored with a thick 
bed of chert fragments, which extend the width of the channel. These 
fragments are httle smaller and little less angular than the chert on the 
hillsides. Except in the large streams there is little rounded gravel 
and less sand. The floor of such a stream is therefore much more resist- 
ant than are the margins of its bed. Consequently even swiftly flowing 
streams show a strong tendency to accomplish much lateral erosion 
(Plate IV a) . The first result is that the bed develops a prodigious widths 
in many instances twenty times the width of the stream at ordinary water 
stages. A diagrammatic cross-section of such a bed would show a 
strikingly convex surface, with the stream flowing at one side of its bed, 
and at low water an irregular staggard line of pools along the margins. 
Adjacent to the water is a wide strip or "bar" of chert. In places the 
stream crosses this bar to the opposite margin of its gravelly bed. At 
such crossings wide shoals or " rifiSes " are developed. It is characteristic 
of Ozark drainage to find a rapid succession of riffles and pools, with the 
pools flanked by wide, white "gravel bars." This tendency to cut later- 
ally, which is imposed by the chert, may also help to account for (i) the 
relatively great width of Ozark valley floors and (2) the extraordinary 
degree to which Ozark streams have developed meandering habits, 
although of rapid flow. 

One of the early Missouri geologists pointed out that the Ozark 
region is largely lacking in the brooks so familiar to every eastern land- 
scape.^* Perennial surface streams are usually large enough to be called 

' Marbut, Soil Reconnaissance, p. 35. ^ Nason, Missouri Geol. Snrv., II, 90. 


rivers. Valleys a quarter of a mile wide may hold in dry seasons only 
a few detached pools. This is not due to any dryness of climate, but 
is rather the result of the large quantity of chert fragments in the valleys. 
These provide underdrainage, and through the spaces between them the 
water moves freely. A valley bed, therefore, which appears dry may 
have a moderate amount of water beneath its surface. Shallow pits 
dug in the bed of a creek usually fill with water in a short time. The 
absence of water in the smaller valleys is also partly a result of cavernous 


Because the Ozarks are made up largely of limestone, solution has 
been an important factor in the removal of rock materials.^ It is impos- 
sible to evaluate the relative importance of corrasion and of solution in 
developing the present surface. The fact, however, that limestone 
pebbles are rare on many Ozark streams, although limestone is the most 
common rock of the region, indicates the great importance of solution 
in the erosive process. The extreme clearness of Ozark streams is due 
in part to the fact that much of their water has come from underground 
sources, and has not had the opportunity to gather debris. Solution is 
retarded in some sections by (i) the presence of massive beds of chert 
underground, blocking the passage of water, and (2) by the extensive 
dissection of parts of the region, which has destroyed the continuity of 
many underground drainage channels and lowered the water table. 
The large undissected areas of the central Ozarks and of the western 
flank furnish the best conditions for the collection of underground water 
and for solution.^ 

The ground water dissolves passageways for itself through the lime- 
stone, forming numerous caves (Plate Va). In this way an under- 
ground drainage net is formed, which may be nearly as complicated and 
extensive as the drainage aboveground. Some of the underground 
passages collect water from a wide area. They form small subterranean 
rivers, as the one in Marble or Marvel Cave, Stone County, and finally 
issue at the surface in huge springs, such as Bryce's in Dallas, or Haha- 
tonka in Camden County. On the western margin of the Ozarks the 
Burlington is the most important water-bearing formation, and is 

' A popular account of Ozark caves and other solution features is in Stevens, 
Missouri, the Center State, I, chap. x. 
^ Shepard, op. cit., p. 15. 


described as having a "marvelous system of underground drainage."' 
In virtually all of the other limestones springs abound to a similar or less 
degree. With increasing dissection of the surface the underground 
drainage suffers readjustment and former channels are abandoned, 
appearing here and there on hillsides as dry caves (Plate III b). The 
Gasconade limestone especially is honeycombed by such abandoned 
passages. At lower levels this formation contains a remarkable 
wealth of springs issuing from solution channels of the present cycle 
(Plate III ^>).^ 

If solution continues long enough, part of the roof of an underground 
passage may collapse. In this way many of the numerous sink holes 
were formed, especially those in the little dissected central districts and 
in the Springfield Plain. Their origin is indicated by their linear dis- 
tribution, outlining the course of the underground drainage line, and by 
the fact that in places streams still flow beneath the sink hole.^ Many 
of the sinks are several hundred feet across and fifty to a hundred feet 
deep. They are most numerous in undissected limestone regions, 
although many square miles of such land are entirely without sink 
holes. Rarely more than two or three are found within a single section 
of land. On the eastern margin the limestone belt between Ste. Gene- 
vieve and Cape Girardeau is marvelously pitted with sinks, which are 
on the average much smaller but also much more numerous than those 
of the central or western portions. South of Ste. Genevieve there is 
scarcely a field without several. Many are sufficiently shallow to be 
cultivated. Their number is so great and their average size so small as to 
give to the upland an irregularly rolling character similar to that of a 
terminal moraine. Brackenridge explained them more than a century 
ago as "formed by the washing of the earth into fissures of the limestone 
rock, "4 and Weller similarly ascribes them to solution along joints.^ 

Solution may continue underground until the roof of a cavern col- 
lapses over considerable distances. An example of this is the " Panther's 
Den," in Green County, really a sink of immense size.^ Similarly, on 
the crest of the uplift, east of the Big Piney River, there are small 
solution basins, which contain much of the agricultural land of that 

' Shepard, Missouri Geol. Surv., XII, 19. 

2 Shepard, U.S. Geol. Surv., Water Supply and Irrigation Paper 114, p. 217. 

5 Shepard, Missouri Geol. Surv., XII, 19. 

■» Views of Louisiana (ed. of 181 7), p. 201. 

5 Personal statement. 

^ Shepard, Missouri Geol. Surv., XII, 40. 


region.' Two well-known solution basins have been thus described: 
"Near Thayer, in Oregon County, is a place known as Grand Gulf. Here 
there is a large underground stream visible for a short distance, and this 
is generally believed to be, and probably is, the feeder of the Mammoth 
spring in Arkansas. Sinking Creek, in Shannon County, flows as a sur- 
face stream for a long distance. A few miles from where it empties 
into Jack's Fork it runs into a cut de sac formed by a crescent-shaped 
mountain .... and reappears a mile away on the other side of the 
mountain in the form of a large spring."^ It is stated that boats can be 
taken through this subterranean passage.^ Sinking Valley is formed by 
solution; the "mountain" is the initial stage of a huge natural bridge. 
A number of these arches are known in various parts of the Ozarks, as at 
Hahatonka and in Miller County."* In time the entire roof of a 
cavernous passage may collapse, and a continuous valley may be formed. 

' Marbut, Missouri Geol. Surv., X, 92. 

' Nason, Missouri Geol. Surv., II, 91-92. 

3 Stevens, Missouri, the Center State, I, 194. 

* Ball and Smith, Missouri Bur. Geol. and Mines, Ser. 2, I, 13. 



One of the most remarkable things about Ozark topography is 
that on the upland the horizon is level nearly everywhere, even in 
the roughest hill sections. In other words, uniform summit-levels are 
characteristic of almost the entire highland area (Plate V b) irrespective 
of stratigraphic conditions, and thereby indicate an elevated pene- 
plain. Corroborative evidence is found in high-level gravels.^ The 
region has been subjected to subaerial degradation for an extremely 
long period, and has a complicated erosion history,^ in which the two 
elements of geographic importance are (i) the general upland peneplain 
and (2) the valleys and their terraces. A peneplain was developed over 
nearly the whole of the Missouri Ozarks, the two important exceptions 
being the larger knobs of crystalline rocks (Plate I a) and those of the 
Burlington limestone in southwest Missouri. In both cases the monad- 
nocks are formed by highly resistant rock. In the eastern region some 
of the porphyry knobs rise 600 to 800 feet above the old peneplain.^ In 
southwest Missouri remoteness from streams aided in the preservation 
of the limestone monadnocks. 

Subsequent to the general peneplanation the region was upwarped 
unevenly and constituted a plateau. It was raised most along the 
present line of highest elevation, the amount of uplift decreasing from 
this axis in all directions.^ Thus a flattened, elliptical dome was formed, 
with its main watershed approximately where the principal divide now is. 
One of the first stages of subsequent uphft had its maximum develop- 
ment in the White River country, which was raised about 300 feet. 
On the middle Osage at this time the uplift was about 75 feet,s and still 
farther north, in Morgan County, it is recognizable only on careful 
examination.^ The resulting rejuvenation of the streams caused the 

' Marbut, Missouri Bur. Geol. and Mines, Ser. 2, VII, 10. 

2 Hershey, in Amer. Geol., XXVII, 25-41, gives an extended analysis. 

3 See Buckley, Missouri Bur. Geol. and Mines, Ser. 2, IX, 9, and accompany- 
ing map. 

4 Marbut, Missouri Geol. Surv., p. 29. s Hershey, Amer. Geol., XXVII, 35. 
^ Marbut, Missouri Bur. Geol. and Mines, Ser. 2, VII, 8-9. 


incision of the White River system to a depth of several hundred feet 
and the development of wide alluvial floors at the new base-level. Later 
uplift again rejuvenated the drainage and caused the grade-level just 
referred to to be trenched and its remnants to be left as terraces 50 to 
75 feet above the present valley floors of the White River system. 

The terraces are locally called "benches," and furnish the most 
desired lands of the White River country (Plate Vila). The bench 
lands are underlain by rock at a depth of one to ten feet. Their soils 
are characteristically a deep red anS contain much oxidized gravel and 
sand. Terraces are well distributed along all the larger tributaries of 
the White, and form a favorite location not only for farms but also for 
the community centers of this much-dissected area. Many of the other 
Ozark valleys contain less conspicuous benches, especially on the north- 
ern border. Here almost every valley has several well-defined terraces 
or "second bottoms," as valley lands above the level of ordinary floods 
are designated locally. These terraces are par excellence the small- 
grain lands of the valleys and are also suited for corn if the crops are 
rotated properly. They do not, however, permit continuous cropping 
in corn, as do the flood plains or "first bottoms." 


Since its elevation the peneplain has been redissected so thoroughly 
as to have lost its plateau character to a large degree. The western 
part of the highland forms an exception to this statement. The differ- 
ence in dissection of the various parts of the area is a function of (i) differ- 
ence in elevation of the peneplained surface after uplift, (2) difference 
in resistance of the rocks, and (3) difference in position relative to eroding 

An economic interpretation of the dissection is shown in Fig. 28, 
which represents by shaded lines the land too rough for cultivation. 
As shown in this map the rough land lies mostly in the eastern and central 
portions, forming a crescentic belt intermediate between the borders 
and the central region. This dissected belt is the result of (i) elevation 
greater than that of the margins of the area, (2) outcrops of the Gas- 
conade limestone, and (3) a very close drainage pattern in certain parts, 
as where the Osage and Gasconade rivers approach each other, with two 
smaller streams, the Maries and Tavern, crowded between them. In 
this intermediate area erosion has nearly destroyed the plateau, the 
remnants being knifelike ridges, in many cases having room scarcely for 


a wagon trace. Here the land suited to agriculture is confined almost 
entirely to the larger valleys. 

In the northern and eastern border zones lowlands are largest and 
most numerous because the drainage is most mature. Because in some 
parts erosion is well past the stage of greatest relief and also because 
of the lesser original elevation, the contrast between uplands and valleys 
is less in these border regions than in other parts of the Ozarks. The 
upland here is for the most part rolling and is largely suited to agricul- 
ture. This region is typically a foreland to the higher country at the 
south and west. 

The west central region has been affected but little by erosion. 
The characteristic landscape is a monotonous plain, beneath which the 
larger streams have cut a few steep-sided valleys with narrow bottoms. 
East of the Springfield Plain the plateau is cut into large strips by sub- 
parallel valleys, most of which run north and south. These plateau 
remnants are usually designated prairies (Plate VI a). Many have indi- 
vidual names, and each forms to a considerable degree a social and eco- 
nomic unit. The western border of the Ozarks, the Springfield Plain, is 
so remote from the larger streams that in spite of its high elevation it has 
been least dissected of any part of the highland. Here prairie conditions 

The Ozark Highland therefore shows strong contrasts in topography, 
because of which it is divided into three main sections: (i) the eastern 
and northern borders of moderate relief, (2) the intermediate, rough 
hill belts on the north, east, and south, and (3) the smooth central and 
western plateaus (Figs, i and 18). 


Ozark streams have not formed symmetrical drainage basins. The 
streams which are consequent to the original slope of the dome have 
enlarged their courses more rapidly than those which flow against it. 
North of the crest the northward flowing tributaries are much more 
numerous and have developed longer courses and larger basins than the 
southward flowing ones. South of the crest the converse is true. From 
the one side, therefore, the descent into a typical Ozark stream basin is 
gradual; from the other, abrupt. 

Most of the large streams, and many of the small ones, have sinuous 
courses. The Osage, Gasconade, Meramec, and White rivers and 
their principal tributaries consist of extraordinarily large meanders 
incised into the upland. Fig. 5 illustrates a typical case. These 


meanders are inherited from a peneplained condition of the region, 
when sluggish streams wandered widely over the smooth surface. On 
rejuvenation the streams cut down their channels, in many instances 
200 feet or more. During incision the stream channels continued to 
shift laterally at the same time that they were being sunk vertically.^ 
As a result the meanders have grown to extraordinary size, the valleys 
have become unusually wide, and there have developed the gentle 


Fig. 5. — Intrenched course of the Osage River above Bagnell. Three meander 
loops are shown with slip-off slopes on their inner sides and cliffs on the opposite 
bank {U.S. Geol. Surv., Versailles Topographic Sheet). 

"slip-off" slopes so characteristic of the inner side of all Ozark meanders 
(D in Fig. 6). These slopes provide not merely access from valley to 
upland, but are invariably the sites of the choicest farms, the lower slopes 
being farmed, the upper ones utilized as grasslands (Plate VII). Fig. 6 
represents in block diagram a typical meander. At A the river cuts into 
the upland very sharply and develops in most cases a sheer bluff on the 
right bank. At B, on the outer edge of the meander, the current is 

' Hershey, op. cit., XVI, 347-49. 



directed against the left bank and there forms a bluff. The bluffs 
shown in Plate VIII are at the apex of meanders. At C there may or 
may not be bluffs. 

Because of the severity of the attack at A (Fig. 6) the meander may 
be cut off, as in an alluvial valley. The likelihood is less in this case 
because the stream is attacking strata of hard rock. Also, so long as 
the downstream component of the current is much more vigorous than 
the lateral motion, there may be no undercutting at the downstream 
side of the neck. Rather, C may shift downstream as rapidly as ^, or 

Pjg. 6.— Block diagram of an intrenched meander. The stream undercuts the 
valley sides especially at A and 5, and, unless its gradient is high, also at C. Com- 
bined down-cutting and lateral shifting give rise to gentle slopes on the inner sides 
of the meander loops (especially at D, but also at E and F), called "slip-off" slopes. 
On these the best farms of such valleys are located. 

nearly so. Cut-offs are to be found, therefore, principally in the border 
regions, where the streams are less rapid, and where sapping takes place 
on both sides of the neck. This is the case on the lower Osage, Gasco- 
nade, Pomme de Terre, Whitewater, and other rivers.' The cut-off at 
Richfountain, in Osage County, is nearly diagrammatic (Fig. 12). The 
length of the abandoned part of the valley is almost ten miles, and forms 
one of the best farming sections in the country. At the apex of the old 
meander was an oxbow lake, drained a few years since. At the cut-off 
I Ball and Smith, Missouri Bur. GeoL and Mines, Ser. 2, 1, 3; Marbut, ibid., VII, 
12-13, and Plate VI. 


the stream still flows in a narrow, rocky channel, which indicates that 
the shortening of the stream course at this place has been very recent. 
A local name for the detached portion of the upland, remaining after the 
neck is cut through, is "lost hill," because to the inhabitant of the Ozarks 
a hill is part of a continuous ridge and an isolated hill is an anomaly. 
These "lost hills" may be formed in another way: "A short distance 
upstream from the fork of two streams the widening of their graded 
valley floors occasionally results in the lateral abstraction of the smaller 
by the larger one. An isolated hill is then left. An example which bids 
fair to become typical for this country occurs where the town of Warsaw 
lies on the margin of one of these hill groups in the (former) fork of the 
Osage and Grand River valleys."' Cote sans Dessein, in Callaway 
County, is another example. 

A secondary topographic result of the meandering habit is that it 
increases the opportunity for dissection of the adjoining region enor- 
mously. Instead of having a normal, linear valley a fraction of a mile 
in width, such a stream wanders about in a belt many times as wide, 
within which and adjacent to which tributaries as a rule dissect the up- 
land in intricate patterns. These river hill belts are serious obstacles 
to communication in any direction. 

' Davis, Science, VII, 273; see also Marbut, Missouri Geol. Surv., X, and Amer. 
Geol., XXI, 86-90. 


The climate of the Ozark Highland is determined primarily by its 
mid-continental location in intermediate latitudes. The relief is not 
sufficient to affect seriously the climate of the region as a whole, and it 
therefore does not form a climatic province. The areal extent of the 
highland results in a noticeable contrast in temperature conditions 
between its northern and southern extremities and a slight contrast in 
rainfall between the eastern and western parts. 


The winds are largely cyclonic and the weather is variable. The 
region is too far south to have its temperatures much affected ordinarily 
by the strong winter anticyclones of the north central states, which 
have their origin in the far Northwest. Lesser cyclones and anticyclones, 
however, moving southeastward from the Rocky Mountain region cross 
the Ozarks frequently.^ 

The wind of maximum frequency is southerly or southeasterly.^ 
From 1912 to 1914 inclusive there were only three months in which the 
prevailing winds at Springfield were not from the south or southeast. 
In the same period the prevailing wind at Columbia, just beyond the 
northern border, was from the south, southeast, or southwest during 
twenty-eight months. ^ There is a slight increase in the frequency of 
northerly winds with increase of latitude. Storm winds are prevailingly 
from the northwest." 

Wind velocities are lower on the average than in the northern part 
of the state. At Springfield the mean velocity is 10 . i miles per hour, 
being highest in March (12 .4) and lowest in August (7 .4).s From 1912 
to 1 914 there were twenty- two months in which the maximum velocity 
at Springfield did not exceed 25 miles.^ 

' Taylor, summary of nineteen years' record, Monthly Weather Review, XXXV, 
265-67; U.S. Weather Bur., Bull. W. 
' Ibid. 

3 Summarized from Climatological Data, I-III. 
■» Taylor, op. cit. 

s Monthly Weather Rev., XXXV, 267. ^ Climatological Data, I-III. 



Tornadoes are of almost annual occurrence in the region, although 
the likelihood of visitation for any one locality is very slight. Many of 
these storms invade the area from Kansas, and the western border is 
therefore most subject to them. The vicinity of Springfield is said to 
have been visited by a tornado three times since its settlement, in 1880, 
in 1883, and in 1915. The first destroyed the town of Mansfield and 
resulted in the death of at least a hundred persons.^ In 1909 there were 
two tornadoes in the Ozarks. On April 29 one killed twenty people at 
Golden, Barry County, several persons at Viola, Stone County, and the 
city of Alton, Oregon County, was nearly destroyed, with the loss of 
six lives.^ Two months later Monett and Aurora were swept by a 
tornado. 3 


The average annual temperature of the Ozark Highland is a little 
less than 55° F., which is the average for the city of Springfield. Fig. 7 
represents the average January isotherms. This is the coldest month 
and also the one in which the temperature contrasts between different 
parts of the region are greatest, amounting to a maximum of 10° between 
the extreme north and south. In April there is only 3^° difference 
between north and south, and in the three summer months none. In 
September the maximum difference is 4^°, and in November 8°, The 
winters, therefore, are somewhat colder and longer in the north than in 
the south, whereas there is no appreciable difference in the summers. 
Autumn, and to a lesser extent spring, are of greatest duration in the 
southern sections." 

Fig. 8 shows the mean monthly changes of temperature for Spring- 
field, which approximate the averages for the region as a whole. During 
the three summer months the mean daily maximum exceeds 80°, and in 
none of the winter months does it drop below 40°. In the three winter 
months the mean daily minimum temperatures are below 30°, and in 
January and February below 25°. If these average conditions were 
realized, therefore, in any one year, each day would have frost at night 
and thawing during the day. Not uncommonly in midwinter this con- 
dition does exist for weeks at a time. Periods of more than three or 

' Taylor, op. cit. 

^ Monthly Weather Rev., XXXVII, 207. 

3 Ibid., p. 225. 

4 Summarized from averages given in Climatological Data, March, 19 14, to Febru- 
ary, 1915. 



Fig. 7. — January isotherms (after U.S. Weather Bureau, Bull. W, and Climaio- 
logical Data) . 

Jon Fcl» iw ^p^ nof Jyrj<' Jo/^ Sup i^p Oq f^ov pec 

(\\/^o\ute £"xrTeme5 + ExtYemes of flanthly Mcqas 
Fig. 8. — Temperature record for Springfield for nineteen-year period 



four days without thawing are not usual. The mean daily range through- 
out the year is 18.2°, in winter 16.8°, in spring 19°, in summer 18.3°, 
and in autumn 18.8°/ 

Available frost data are too meager to warrant any detailed state- 
ment of the frost-free period in different localities. It appears that in 
general the southeastern region is first to be free from frost in spring and 
the western border last. In the fall the west is again first subject to 
frost. This would agree with the increase of humidity southeastward. 

Fig. 9. — Average annual precipitation (after U.S. Weather Bureau, Bull. W, and 
Climatological Data) . 

Poplar Bluff, on the east, has an average frost-free season of 193 days; 
Mount Vernon, on the west, of 166. The average length of the growing 
season for the region as a whole is nearly six months. ^ The likelihood of 
unseasonable frosts depends much more largely on topographic location 
than on latitude or longitude. As a rule frosts occur in the valleys several 
weeks later in spring and earlier in fall than they do on the uplands, 
especially in the case of the larger valleys lying in the hill regions. The 
margins of the uplands have the best air drainage and are least subject 

I Taylor, op. cit. ^ U.S. Weather Bur., Btdl. W. 


to frosts. This factor has been important in determining the location 
of orchards and gardens. On the plateau remnants, at some distance 
from their margins, the frost danger again increases. 

The temperature conditions described are averages, and extremes 
depart therefrom considerably. The highest temperature ever recorded 
in Missouri was 116°, at Marble Hill in 1901. Springfield has recorded 
an absolute range of 135° (see Fig. 9), with such anomalous temperatures 
as 74° in January and 22° in October and April. The variability of 
temperatures is greatest in winter. The cold waves may be so severe 
as to level all climatic distinctions within the state,^ and not infrequently 
bring temperatures of — 10° to — 20°. They are less numerous, however, 
than farther north, and are of short duration, being followed usually 
by thawing weather within a few days. Severe winters which have been 
remembered in local history are those of 1834-35 and 1855-56. In the 
former "cattle had their horns frozen, pigs and fowls perished in great 
numbers, and much damage was done to fruit trees. The snow drifted 
to extraordinary depths, lying on the ground from December to March."^ 
Protracted hot "spells" are of greater duration and effect much greater 
injuries because they are usually associated with droughts. 


The nineteen-year average (i 888-1 906) of relative humidity at 
Springfield is 73, 77 during the winter months, 75 in summer, and 70 in 
spring. During the same period the average number of clear days per 
year was 150, partly cloudy 127, and cloudy 88. The months with the 
greatest number of clear days were October, 18, September and August, 
each 16; those with the most cloudy days were December and January, 
each II. May has an average of 12 rainy days, whereas October has 
only 7.3 In the eastern part of the Ozarks the humidity is sHghtly 
greater than at Springfield. On the whole the region is one of abundant 
sunshine, especially in fall, and of moderately high evaporation. The 
maximum frequency of rains in spring, and of sunny weather in late 
summer, is favorable for the production of most crops, especially corn 
(see Fig. 10). 

Precipitation is largely in the form of rain. The average snowfall 
at Springfield is only 15.9 inches, or about 3^ per cent of the total 
precipitation. This is less than half the snowfall at Chicago or New 

' Taylor, op. cit. ' Ihid. 

3 Taylor, Monthly Weather Rev., XXXV, 265-67; U.S. Weather Bur., Bull. W. 



York. In January, 1914, Jefferson City and Glasgow, both on the 
northern border, had no snowfall. In January, 191 5, widely separated 
stations in Bollinger, Shannon, Iron, and Laclede counties reported no 
snow. On the other hand, in February, 1914, 27 inches of snow fell 
in Phelps County and 31 in Franklin.' Even on the northern border 
snow rarely remains on the ground more than a week, and in the south a 
snow cover of twenty-four days in January is reported as an extraordinary 


riav •^'"' '"' 

» Av. Na-Clou^y Days 

fl"S Sep 

Fig. 10. — Record of precipitation at Springfield for nineteen-year period, 1888- 
1906. Each column represents maximum, mean, and minimum precipitation for 
the month. 

condition.^ The latitude position of the region favors occasional sleet 
storms. In April, 1914, one such storm was reported from the Ozark 
region; in December sleet fell seven times, and in the following month 
six times.'' Not infrequently sleet does considerable damage to trees 

' Climatological Data, March, 1914, to February, 1915. 

' Monthly Weather Rev., XL, 403. 

^Climatological Data, March, 1914, to February, 1915. 


and wires and makes travel almost impossible for a day or two. In 
November, 1848, the southwestern portion witnessed a "big sleet," 
which was extraordinarily destructive.' Hail is most frequent in the 
western part of the area. In the entire region the Weather Bureau 
reported fourteen hailstorms from May to September, 1914-^ 

The annual precipitation ranges from a minimum average of 36 
inches along the Missouri River valley to a maximum of 48 on the margin 
of the Southwestern Lowlands, as shown in Fig. 9. Fig. 10 shows the 
average distribution by months at Springfield, which is fairly typical of 
the region. The rainfall of the growing season, April to September, 
is on the average considerably more than half the annual precipitation. 
In a majority of localities the maximum rainfall is in May, with June 
in second place. At a few stations June has slightly more rain than May. 
The normal distribution therefore is very favorable to the growth of 
crops, the May- June maximum and the high rainfall in July being espe- 
cially desirable for corn. 

Unfortunately, the amount of rainfall in any one year may depart 
widely from the average. In Fig. 10 the extreme maximum and mini- 
mum monthly rainfall at Springfield from 1888 to 1906 is shown. The 
maximum annual rainfall during this time was 61 inches, the minimum 
31.7. June and July, the most critical months for most crops, have the 
greatest variabihty of rainfall. According to oral accounts the greatest 
rain that ever occurred in this section was in July, 1876.^ June and 
August, 1915, broke all monthly records in parts of the Ozarks. In 
August of this year there were seven widely scattered stations at which 
the rainfall was more than 10 inches above the monthly average. Rain 
fell in great quantity almost every day, grain rotted in the fields, 
streams were in flood repeatedly and in a number of instances reached 
stages never before known, and the wheat crop on ahnost all bottom 
lands, as well as a large part of the corn, was lost. 

Periods of drought have done more damage than periods of excessive 
rain, (i) Most droughts are of greater areal extent than heavy or pro- 
tracted rains. (2) They affect unfavorably a larger proportion of the 
land area, as they involve both the uplands and small bottoms, whereas 
in this region damage done by rains is limited mostly to the flooding 
of valleys. (3) Droughts do permanent injury to field crops during 
any part of the period of growth. Rains, on the other hand, do direct 

■ Taylor, op. cit. 

^ CUmatological Data, March, 1914, to February, 1915. 

3 Taylor, op. cit. 


damage only at certain seasons. (4) Most droughts are of much longer 
duration than rainy periods. In 1881 no rain fell from the middle of 
July to September 10, and the corn crop was nearly a failure.^ The 
great drought of 1901 caused nearly a total failure of crops. More 
recently the years 1911, 1913, 1914 were very deficient in rain. The 
three dry years and one very wet one (1915) out of five consecutive years 
were a severe ordeal to almost all rural sections. 

In 191 1 it was reported from Springfield that "the period of 60 days, 
from May i to June 30, almost without rain, breaks all records in this 
locality for continued dry weather at this season of the year. Hay, 
oats, gardens, berries, and pastures are failures .... live stock is being 
fed full winter rations, water is lower than it has been for years, and the 
city water company is extending its mains to a new source of supply."^ 

The drought of 19 13 commenced in April and lasted through August. 
In that period the deficiency of rainfall at Springfield was 12 .04 inches, 
at Wheatland, Hickory County, 11 .49, at Boonville 11 .42, at Ironton 
8.37.3 During this time there was accumulated an excess temperature 
at Springfield of 450°. As a result, it was said, "wells have failed and 
springs and streams never before known to go dry are absolutely devoid 
of water. The danger of fire has become a serious menace, and fire 
patrols have been established. Thousands of trees have died and many 
more will succumb. The leaves in many localities are dried and withered. 
. . . . Grass is as dry as in midwinter. Stockisentirely ondry feed, and 
there is no prospect for any fall pasture."'' Wheat and oats alone, 
because they mature early, yielded fair crops. The production of corn 
for the state was reduced about half,^ and in the southern portion more 
than half. Apple orchards yielded only a third of a crop.* 

The year 1914 began with deficient precipitation generally, and so 
continued with few exceptions through July. This drought was more 
severe in the eastern than in the western sections. Ironton had a 
deficiency of 16.5 inches in the first seven months. Marble Hill of 15, 
Boonville of 14 . i, and Springfield of 8 . 75.7 The severity of the drought 

' Taylor, op. cit. 

^ Monthly Weather Rev., XXXIX, 896. 
3 Summarized from Climatological Data, 19 13. 

t Hazen, Springfield, Mo., Monthly Weather Rev., XLI, 1211; see also ibid., 
pp. 1443-44- 

5 Department of Agriculture, Farmers' Bulletin No. 570, p. 24. 

^ Ibid., No. §63, p. 13. 

' Summarized from Climatological Data, 1914. 


was mitigated in places by heavy but very local rains. The dry weather 
also "broke" a month earlier than in the previous year. Wheat was 
better than average, but oats and corn suffered badly. Hay was 
virtually a failure and the pastures were as brown in midsummer as 
in late fall. 

These are exceptional conditions. The area, being mid-continental, 
is subject to large variations of weather. In most years, however, the 
rainfall is ample. The losses from droughts are less than in the states 
adjoining Missouri on the west and no greater than in many other parts 
of the Middle West. The damage from excessively wet seasons is less 
than in the Great Lakes region and the more southerly states. All 
things considered, the Ozarks have a very desirable, well-moderated 
climate of the continental type, pleasant and healthful, and very well 
suited to a large variety of crops. 



Residual soils. — Most of the soil of the Ozarks was formed by the 
decay of the local rock formations. On upland flats and gentle slopes 
the surface materials are mostly derived from the underlying rock, and 
contacts of rock formations commonly are marked by sharp differences in 
soils. On steep slopes, however, the more resistant beds of rock domi- 
nate the soils, as they do the topography. Because of their resistance 
they form the summit elevations, and accordingly their weathered prod- 
ucts mantle in large part the lower slopes, which are occupied by weaker 
rocks. This fact, added to their extensive distribution, makes the soils 
derived from cherty limestones by far the largest group of the region. 

Cherty Hmestone soils: In the cherty limestone soils residual chert 
is the most conspicuous feature. It is present in the soil, in subsoil, at 
the surface, or in all of these positions. In nearly all of the soil types of 
■this group are small areas which are free from chert. All of the limestone 
soils are clays or clay loams. 

Because of its area and fertility the Springfield soil (see Fig. ii), 
largely derived from the Burlington limestone, is the most valuable single 
upland soil type of the Ozarks. It covers most of the western border, 
whence its name is derived, and also a strip in Cape Girardeau and Ste. 
Genevieve counties. Its chert content varies greatly but on the whole is 
high. In places there is a surface concentration which at first sight makes 
the land appear too stony for cultivation. In the vicinity of Springfield 
fences are built of cherts that have been taken from the fields. The 
chert, however, aids the soil in catching and storing moisture, and so 
helps to make it drought-resistant.^ For the most part this soil is in the 
least-dissected portions of the Ozarks and therefore has good depth. It 
contains the mineral elements necessary for plant growth in proper pro- 
portions and ranks high in fertility. This combination of good qualities 
expresses itself in some of the best farms of the Ozarks. 

' Marbut (Bureau of Soils, 191 1), A Soil Reconnaissance of the Ozark Region, con- 
tains an extended discussion of soils. The nomenclature of this report has been 
followed for the most part. 

* Marbut, Soil Reconnaissance, p. 99. 




On the northern and eastern borders of the Ozarks the Union soil is 
widely distributed. The soil is formed in large part from the Jefferson 
City cotton rock and is therefore not very cherty. Most of it is found in 
a region of Httle relief, largely rolling prairie. In considerable part " the 
thickness of the soil layer goes beyond the point where it is a Umiting 
factor in crop production."' Because of its compact texture the soil 
washes rather badly under improper cultivation. It is not a first-class 

Fig. II.— Soil map (after Marbut, Biireau of Sails, Field Report, 191 1, and 
Forty-sixth Ann. Rept. Missouri State Board of Agric). 

soil anywhere, but in very few places is poor. In some sections, as 
between the Meramec. River and Boeuf Creek, it is fairly good. The 
major part of it is cultivated and supports its industrious owners in 
moderate comfort. 

An excellent soil of small areal distribution^ is that of the Iheria 
"benches." It is Hmited for the most part to the valleys of the Gasco- 
nade, its tributaries, and Tavern Creek, and is supposed to be derived from 

' Ibid., p. ss. 

' The areal extent is less than is shown on the map of report {loc. cil.). 


soft limestones, which, by weathering, form benches.^ The benches on 
which it Hes are usually not more than a mile wide, although Marbut 
reports maximum widths of eight to ten miles. The soil is mostly clay 
containing more or less chert, and is highly esteemed. The name is 
derived from the prosperous village of Iberia, which flourished upon 
such land, although miles removed from a railroad. Its fertility has 
given the name Richwoods to a township in Miller County, which was 
described before the Civil War as having land "of excellent quality, and 
the growth of timber much larger than in much of the surrounding 
country. "2 

The Howell soil, derived largely from the Jefferson City formation, is 
the most extensive single soil type of the Ozarks. Marbut characterizes 
it as having less chert than the Springfield soil and a rougher topography.^ 
Plate IX shows some of the stonier phases. The cherts are largely on 
the surface and in the upper part of the soil. In some sections, as in 
Howell County, they disintegrate into small fragments, making the soil 
gravelly rather than stony.-* On the whole the soil is more cherty than 
average and less productive. It is thin in general and not suited to 
heavy cropping. The southern counties contain some fairly good farm- 
land. Areas of Howell soil have been advertised heavily as fruit soil, and 
a number of large commercial orchards have been located on it in Howell 
and Oregon counties. Probably the major part of it has never been 
put under Cultivation. 

Second in area and least in value is the Clarksville soil, which consti- 
tutes the climax of poverty in the Missouri Ozarks. On the whole it 
contains probably as much chert as any other type of soil, is of lesser 
depth, and lies on steeper slopes. This soil is derived from the Gasco- 
nade and Potosi limestones for the most part, and its deficiencies are due 
principally to the topography of its parent formations. In no part of 
the area occupied by it is any large fraction of the surface suited to 
cultivation. That its poverty is a matter of topography is indicated 
clearly by the fact that some of the choicest bottom lands of the Ozarks 
are formed by material washed down from hills covered with Clarksville 
soil. The aggregate value of its area is less than that of the adjoining 
Fredericktown soils, one-tenth as extensive. 

Non-cherty limestone soils: Three types of Ozark limestone soils 
are nearly chert-free. These are the Fredericktown, Hagerstown, and 

' Marbut, Soil Reconnaissance, pp. 62-64. ^ Marbut, op. cit., p. 68. 

^Reports Geol. Surv. of Missouri (1855-71), p. 128. ^ Ibid., p. 71. 


Berryville. The first of these is derived from the Bonne Terre Hmestone 
and other formations lying in proximity to the igneous rocks. The 
basins, which it forms among the knobs of igneous rocks and the hills 
covered by the Clarksville soil, are garden spots, cultivated from the 
earliest days of settlement in the Ozarks and liberally productive to this 
day. The deep red clays of this series are classed among the most 
fertile limestone soils of the United States (Plates 16 and II c).' 

The Hagerstown soil occupies a compact area in the Mississippi 
border region, including the major part of the uplands of Perry, Cape 
Girardeau, and Bollinger counties. This region has little relief, and con- 
sequently the soils have a satisfactory depth. The fertiUty is consider- 
ably above the average, and for the most part the land has been long in 
cultivation, chiefly for the production of small grains. Its farmers 
enjoy a very fair degree of prosperity. With a readjustment of farm 
practice they might be highly prosperous. 

In sharp contrast to the two foregoing types is the Berryville soil, 
forming the " glade lands" of the White River basin. It is derived largely 
from the cotton rock of the Jefferson City limestone. It is for the most 
part a thin veneer upon rock. Where the slope has allowed the accumu- 
lation of soil to a sufficient depth it is reasonably productive. Because 
of the mature dissection of the area, however, such localities are few. 
Where cultivated on slopes it washes badly, as it lacks the chert frag- 
ments to hold it and to give good underdrainage. Chiefly because of its 
ease of erosion abandoned farms are most common where this soil is 
found (Plate VI b). 

Sandstone soils: There are three principal areas of sandy soils: 
(i) the Tilsit, derived from the St. Peter sandstone, along the eastern 
border, (2) the Dent, derived from the La Motte sandstone, adjacent 
to the igneous core, and (3) the large area of Dent soils, from the Roubi- 
doux sandstone, in Dent County and on the headwaters of the Gasconade. 
All are very sandy and for the most part very poor. They provide little 
sustenance to plants and retain water poorly. The sand is so loose that 
it washes badly, and hence even many moderate slopes cannot be culti- 
vated. Marginal to these areas there is considerable land in a good state 
of cultivation, since here the sand has been mixed with the residuum of 
other formations. In spite of a relatively smooth surface only a small 
part of the Dent soils is farmed. Because of its more accessible location 
a larger proportion of the Tilsit area is improved. 

' Marbut, op. cit., p. 44. 


Igneous rock soils :' Agriculturally the soils derived from the igneous 
rocks are almost negligible. They lie on steep slopes and are thin, mixed 
with fragments of talus, and of such an impervious nature that almost 
any disturbance of the surface leads quickly to serious soil erosion. At 
the base of most knobs igneous rock talus has slumped down upon the 
soils of adjacent formations, and thus extended the area of undesirable 
stony land well beyond the outcrops of granite and "porphyry." 

Transported soils. — 

Loess: Loess is known locally as "bluff soil," because it caps the 
bluffs of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. At the riverward margin 
of the upland it is lo to 25 feet thick. Away from the river it thins 
rapidly, and at a distance exceeding three or four miles it is not recogniz- 
able ordinarily, except on the northwestern margin of the area. The 
soil is prized because of its lasting fertiUty and its resistance to drought 
and because it can be cultivated on steeper slopes than is possible with 
any other soil of the region (Plate X a). Because most of this soil lies 
on an uneven surface it requires care and much labor in cultivation, but 
where these are bestowed it yields almost as large returns as do the 
alluvial lands. The passage from the loess to other upland soils is 
marked by the appearance of chert on the roadsides, of gullies in fields 
and pastures, of timber on the slopes, and, generally, by less prosperous 
farm conditions. On the lower Osage and Gasconade rivers and on some 
of the smaller tributaries of the Missouri, beyond the limits of the Mis- 
souri River loess belt, the valley slopes show evidence of an obscure loess 
cover, which enables their use for pastures and to some extent for culti- 

Alluvial soils: Considering the relief of the region and the stage of 
dissection, the amount of alluvial land is great. Bottom lands are well 
distributed throughout the Ozarks, even the most rugged hill districts 
of the Gasconade limestone containing numerous spacious valleys. Some 
of the most valued alluvial land is on the lower courses of creeks flowing 
into the larger rivers. This land is in less danger of destruction by the 
lateral erosion of streams than are the river-bottom farms. It is, as a 
rule, very rich, heavy alluvium. When the larger rivers are in flood 
these tributaries are ponded, often for a distance of several miles. The 
streams are shortened, the zone of deposition is shifted upstream, and 

'These are the soils called by Marbut "rough, stony land." As the term is 
equally applicable to thousands of square miles of surface in the Ozarks not underlain 
by igneous rocks, and as it is dissimilar in concept to the other soil names, it is not 
employed in this treatise. 


the backwater forms a muddy lake in which most of the fine material 
carried down by the creek is deposited. The result is the accumulation 
of deeper deposits than the creeks would form unaided. The numerous 
terraces (seep. 22) also constitute an important part of the valley farm- 

The valleys on the southeastern flank, as the Whitewater, Castor, 
St. Francois, and Black, are most subject to inundation, and here, well 
within the Ozarks, are swampy tracts. After leaving the Ozarks the 
streams from this section flow with sluggish currents for many miles 
through the lowlands of the Mississippi Embayment, their channels 
obstructed in numerous places, actually obHterated here and there, by 
rafts of driftwood. As a result flood waters are discharged more slowly 
than in the remainder of the region, and the valley lands are hence some- 
what less desirable. Drainage operations now in progress in the lowlands 
may have some effect on these Ozark valleys. 

The character of the country rock affects the nature of the alluvial 
deposits only to a small degree. In the area of sandstone outcrops the 
bottoms are somewhat sandy, but in all the limestone areas the alluvial 
soils are approximately of the same quahty under similar conditions 
of deposition. On the headwaters rather thin, gravelly deposits, which 
rest upon cherty subsoils, are the rule, and here crops are likely to "burn 
out" in seasons of deficient rainfall. The great majority of the bottom 
land, however, is deep, rich in humus, well drained, and produces excel- 
lent crops (Plate X). 

Ridge-top and prairie soils of uncertain origin.— The undissected up- 
lands are surfaced by the Lebanon and Owensville loams, the latter 
being confined to the northern border. The Lebanon soils are heavy 
clays, commonly deficient in organic matter.^ They are most productive 
in the western part of the region. The Owensville silt loam is of much 
better quality and forms a desirable small-grain soil. It is similar to 
the prairie soils of north Missouri and is possibly, like the prairie soils, 
in part of glacial or loessial origin.^ 

Influence of slope and exposure.— In general the most desirable soil 
types are those which are associated with gentle slopes, the undesirable 
ones those found for the most part in regions of greatest relief. The 
physical and chemical characteristics of soils are much less significant 
than the slope of the surface on which they lie. The dissected margins of 
areas of Springfield soils, in general the most desirable residual type of the 
region, are in places as unproductive as is the poorest Clarksville land, 

' Marbut, op. cit., pp. 66-67. ' Ibid., pp. 67-68. 



the least used soil of the region. The two types are in general strongly 
contrasted, because most of the Springfield soil is on level prairies, the 

Clarksville almost entirely on 
rough hillsides. Low-lying solu- 
tion basins in tracts of Howell 
soil, generally second class, fur- 
nish farming areas as choice as 
can be found in the Ozarks. 
The most important thing about 
the residual soils, therefore, is 
their depth, which in turn is 
dependent on the topographic 
expression of the rock forma- 
tion from which they are derived 
and the position of the area with 
reference to drainage lines. 

The direction of slope also has 
an influence on the accumulation 

Fig. 12a. — Assessed value of land per 
acre in Osage County (taken from assessor's 
land book, 1914). 


^^fli-y.\ Lebanoi 

of soil. North-facing slopes are conspicuously less stony than south- 
facing ones (Plate XI a). The soil also has greater depth, contains 
more humus, and the angle of slope is in some instances less steep. More 
shade and less heat make the 
soil less dry. The water table nnffllD Howeii 
is also nearer the surface. For 
these reasons there is more 
vegetation on northern than 
on southern slopes and soil ac- 
cumulates more rapidly and to 
greater depth. These condi- 
tions are not peculiar to this 
region but are made more evi- 
dent by the presence of chert. 
The cherts, however, may have 
aided in establishing this con- 
trast. The southern slopes are 
more subject to alternate thaw- 
ing and freezing than the north- 
ern ones. The conductivity and low specific heat of the cherts aid 
temperature changes in the soil, and so faciHtate soil creep on southern 
slopes when the changes cross the 32° point. The cherts, being less 
mobile than the soil, remain behind in large part. 

Fig. 12&. — Soil map of Osage County 
(after Marbut, Bureau of Soils, 1911). 



The type of soil, the utiUzation of which is least dependent upon 
slope, is loess; those most dependent are derived from sandstones, 
igneous rocks, and non-cherty Hmestones. Except in small areas of 
these last groups, erosion has not been a serious problem in the Ozarks. 
The region is not densely populated, and land likely to wash is allowed 
as a rule to remain in timber or wild pasture. 

Land values. — Land values in the Ozarks are an expression chiefly 
of slope, kind of soil, and transportation conditions; secondarily of 
mineral, water, and timber resources. The sketch maps (Figs. 12a, 

I iNrtm.,, -tjoo 
JtSJi -tiooo 

Fig. 13a. — Assessed value of land per 
acre in Pulaski County (taken from as- 
sessor's land book, 1914). 

Fig. 13J. — Soil map of Pulaski County 
(after Marbut, Bureau of Sails, 1911). 
Legend same as for Fig. 1 26. Iberia soils 
shown in white. 

13a, 14a) show for selected parts of the Ozarks the average assessed 
acre values by square-mile units. For comparison, soil maps (Figs. 12b, 
136, 146) are added. 

Assessed values in the three counties selected are fairly comparable. 
The poorer lands are assessed at nearly their actual values (in part 
because they are timbered), while the more fertile lands usually sell at 
three to five times their assessed values. The rate of assessment is 
somewhat higher in Iron than in the other counties. Average values 
are highest in Osage County, on the northern border. This county is 



better located with regard to lines of transportation, and has less relief and 
more fertile land than the other two. Its highest priced lands are along 
the Missouri, the Gasconade, and the Maries rivers. Here broad bot- 
toms, loess-covered uplands, and rail and water transportation combine 
to make the price of land high. Excepting the loess lands, the type of 
soil is not so significant in determining the value of land on the upland 
as is the slope of the surface. Parts of the Union soil are worth as much 
as fifty dollars an acre, as on the level uplands near Linn. Near the 


Fig. 14a. — Assessed value of land per acre in 
Iron County (taken from assessor's land book, 

rivers, however, where dissection has been 
extensive, this soil forms some of the cheap- 
est land of the county, worth five dollars an 
acre and less. In Pulaski County, situated 
in the interior of the Ozarks, land values 
have little relation to soil types, with the 
exception of the alluvial lands, which have 
satisfactory depth because of their position. 
These latter comprise the most valuable 
farms of the county. Prices on the upland 
are determined almost entirely by the 
extent of dissection, and here the distinction of soil types for practical 
purposes is almost a matter of indifference. Where there is smooth 
prairie, as along the Frisco Railroad, land may bring fifty dollars for 
farming purposes. The streams are bordered by wide hill belts con- 
taining very little land that is suited to farming. Here values range 
from two to ten dollars per acre. Iron County, in the St. Francois 
Region, shows the closest accordance between soil type and land values. 
Here there is, however, as well a very close accordance between soil type 



and slope. Most of the crystalline rocks and Clarksville soils are worth 
about two dollars per acre. In sharp contrast to them are the alluvial 
and the Fredericktown soils, which sell ordinarily for fifty to one hundred 
and fifty dollars per acre. The Belleview basin of the Fredericktown soils 
forms the largest compact area of valuable farmland in the country. 

A general conclusion that may be made concerning land values is 
that there is a preponderance of cheap, poor land in all parts of the 
region, except on the western border. Much of this inferior land is in the 

Fig. 14&. — Soil map of Iron County (Marbut, 
Bureau of Soils, 191 1). 

vicinity of the larger streams. Bottom 

lands show surprisingly small variations in 

price. A few hundred acres of public 

land remain unsold, and numerous hill tracts 

are sold from time to time at sheriff's sales 

for a few cents per acre. There are, on the other hand, also thousands of 

acres in the bottoms and on the western border that bring prices on a 

par with those of the best lands of the glacial prairies of north Missouri. 


Lead and zinc ores; baryie; copper. — Galena, zinc blende, and baryte 
are commonly associated, but rarely all three in one locality. Galena is 


most widespread in its distribution. It has been found in all parts of 
the Ozarks, and has been worked to some extent in almost every county. 
The richest deposits center about St. Francois County in southeast 
Missouri and about Jasper County in the southwestern part. In the 
former lead is and has been by far the most important mineral product ; 
this district also produces most of the baryte of the state. In the latter 
region zinc is first in importance, but large quantities of lead have been 
mined as well. The zinc ore becomes relatively more important as one 
goes away from the central crystalline area. This geographic distribu- 
tion of the zinc about the margins of the Ozark Highland has been placed 
in genetic relation to the movement of artesian waters outward to the 
margins of the domed area.^ 

The ores are found either as residual material or "float" ore, in the 
mantle rock, or in various sedimentary formations, usually in limestone. 
Most of the early "mines" did not penetrate into bedrock, but were shal- 
low pits in which the galena was picked out from the other materials 
of the mantle rock. Baryte has been produced almost solely from 
residual material.^ Mining in the bedrock has been principally from ore 
bodies of the following description: (i) sheet deposits of blende and 
galena, formed along bedding, joint, and fault planes,^ (2) great masses 
of limestone, impregnated with disseminated ore,"" (3) deposits of small 
areal extent but of great thickness found chiefly in the northern part of 
the Ozarks. They are there called "circles" and are thought to be 
filled sink holes. These are similar in heaviness of yield to some of the 
"breccia deposits" of the southwest, which consist of ore mixed with 
residual chert, filling solution channels.^ The first class is one of the 
common types of the Joplin district. The second type of deposit, char- 
acteristic of the St. Francois area, enables mining operations on the 
largest scale. The third class are bonanzas while they last, but most of 
them are exhausted after a short period. 

Copper deposits are known principally in Shannon County. Others 
are in Franklin, Madison, and Ste. Genevieve counties. All of them 
are near crystalline rock areas. The deposits are not large, but 
the character of the ores and the low cost of flux, fuel, and labor 
have made it possible to work them with profit at various times.^ The 

' Siebenthal, U.S. Geol. Siirv., Bull. 606. 

* Buckley, Missouri Bur. Geol. and Mines, Ser. 2, IX, Plate CXX. 

3 Ibid., Plate LXVI. 

4 Winslow, Missouri Geol. Surv., VII, 442. s Ibid., pp. 461-65. 

* Bain and Ulrich, U.S. Geol. Surv., Bull. 267, pp. 9-1 1, 50. 


galena of the vicinity of the crystalHne rock areas yields also copper, 
silver, and, more rarely, cobalt, on refining. 

Iron ore.- — Iron ore has been reported in almost every county in the 
Ozarks, most abundantly in the eastern half of the region. The ore 
bodies form three principal groups: (i) the specular ores in "porphyry" 
in the St. Francois region, (2) the hematites of the filled sinks in the 
central Ozarks, and (3) the brown ores of southeastern Missouri.^ Of 
these the first have been most important. Iron Mountain, Pilot Knob, 
Shepard Mountain, Cedar Hill, and other porphyry knobs contain large 
bodies of hard ore in three forms: (i) ore bodies in the igneous mass, 
(2) conglomerate, and (3) weathered-out bowlders. The ore yields from 
55 to 67 per cent of iron.^ The hematites of the filled sinks are mostly in 
Phelps, Crawford, and Dent counties. They are in cone- or bowl-shaped 
pockets, which can often be worked by stripping. The Cherry Valley 
mines in Crawford County are among the largest known bodies of this 
type and give promise of yielding 1,000,000 tons of ore.^ Brown ores 
are scattered widely through the southern part of the state. Because 
of their low grade they have attracted attention only recently.'' The 
deposits are numerous but small, few of them exceeding 100,000 tons.^ 

Stone. — Stone of satisfactory quality and suited for many purposes 
can be had in most sections. Its exploitation, however, has been 
limited to a very few places, principally because of lack of transpor- 
tation facilities and markets. A number of limestone formations yield 
superior quarry products, especially the Burlington, Jefferson City (cotton 
rock), and some of the Silurian. Because these rocks outcrop principally 
on the borders of the region, where there are also the best means of 
transportation, commercial quarries are chiefly in the Ozark margin. 

The granite of the St. Francois knobs forms the most beautiful 
as well as the most durable stone of the state.* It has a pleasing red or 
gray color, a medium coarse texture, takes and retains a high polish, 
and is jointed so as to facilitate working. It can be produced in blocks 
of almost any size, the Thomas Allen monument at Pittsfield, Massa- 
chusetts, containing a single block of 42 tons.^ The porphyry on the 
other hand is fractured into small pieces, is difficult to work, and in 
pavings wears to a smooth and treacherous surf ace. ^ 

' Crane, Missouri Bur. Geol. and Mines, Ser, 2, X, xv. 

' Ibid., p. 114. 3 Ihid., p. 92. '^Ibid., p. xv. s Ibid., p. 57. 

* Buckley and Buehler, Missouri Bur. Geol. and Mines., Ser. 2, II, 74. 

7 Ibid., p. 64. 


The St. Peter sandstone furnishes glass sand of high grade. Pro- 
duction has been concentrated upon the Jefferson County outcrops, 
situated on the Mississippi River near St. Louis. 

Clay} — The commercial clays are classed mostly as fire clays and 
kaolins. They are on the whole highly refractory, lean, nearly free 
from grit, and a majority of them are white or cream-colored. Mixed 
with plastic clays the kaolin is excellent pottery material, which sells 
normally at the potteries at five to twelve dollars per ton. It will there- 
fore bear the cost of mining by crude methods at some distance from a 
railroad. The so-called fire clays are less pure, more widely distributed 
than the kaolins, and bring a lower price. Most of the deposits have 
accumulated in ancient sink holes. They are in pockets rarely more 
than several hundred feet in diameter, but in many places sixty or more 
feet thick. Exceptionally large pits produce five thousand tons. In 
many sections their small size is balanced to some extent by the great 
number of clay "banks." 

Because of the chert content of most of the surface clays brick 
clays are of rather limited distribution. 

Tripoli. — Tripoli, a porous, decomposed siliceous rock, is found in 
Newton County, especially at Seneca and Racine.^ There is increasing 
demand for this substance in the manufacture of filters, abrasive, and 
polish. The local deposits probably will be able to take care of the 
future demands of the United States for an indefinite period. 

Salt. — Brine springs have been utilized in the past on a number of 
streams in Cooper and Howard counties, in Jefferson County, and on 
Saline Creek, Ste. Genevieve County.^ They were a valuable resource 
in the early history of the region, but are no longer of significance. 

Coal. — Although the Coal Measures do not extend into the Ozarks, 
coal has been found in thirty-five Ozark counties. It was formed mostly 
from vegetation which accumulated in sink holes and was buried. Few 
of these pockets are more than an acre in extent. Like the other sink 
deposits, it is remarkably thick, beds of ninety feet being known. They 
are small in yield, however, 500,000 tons being an exceptional aggre- 
gate for one pocket.'' Because of their small size the deposits are of 
local value only. The coal pockets have been the instrument of numer- 
ous frauds, having been used in promotion schemes which exploited 
their vertical extent but concealed their horizontal limitations. 

' Wheeler, Missouri Geol. Surv., XI. ^ U.S. Geol. Surv., Bull. 349, p. 429. 

3 Shumard, Reports Geol. Surv. of Missouri (1855-71), pp. 302, 313. 

4 Hinds, Missouri Bur. Geol. and Mines, Ser. 2, XI, 10. 


Variety of mineral resources. — The Ozark Highland has no lack of 
minerals, except of mineral fuels. In only two counties, however, St, 
Francois and Jasper, is the mineral wealth so great as to have attracted 
much nonresident capital, resulting in mining development on a large 
scale. With these exceptions the mineral resources, though well dis- 
tributed, are not large, and are important chiefly as (i) aids to the early 
development of the r^ion, an(^ (2) as accessory means of livelihood. The 
salt springs, iron ore, and "float" lead ore supplied pioneer needs, 
and thus were powerful factors in aiding settlement. At present a 
considerable quantity of minerals is being produced by small operators, 
especially by farmers, during the winter season. 


Streams. — On the northern and eastern margins of the Ozarks are 
the two largest rivers of the United States. They are also two of the 
most important interior waterways of the country and have been 
extremely significant in the development of the Ozarks. Although there 
are within the region at least a score of other streams sufficiently large 
to be called rivers, their utihty for navigation is small. This is the 
result of their inaccessibility from producing areas, deficient volume, 
swift current, sinuous courses, and the character of their channels. 
Mostly they are bordered by poor and rugged hills, which act as barriers 
between river and the adjacent undissected uplands. The meanders of 
many of these streams, as of the Osage and Gasconade, impose very 
devious courses upon water-borne traffic. The stream channels are 
fairly stable for the most part, but they are shoaled in many places by 
bars of gravel or sand. These bars are serious obstructions, even to 
boats of shallow draft, except in high water. 

Water power constitutes one of the great resources of the Ozarks. 
Rainfall, rehef, character of rock formations, and extensive forest cover 
create excellent hydrographic conditions. There are many streams 
of moderate size, vigorous current, and steady flow. The large propor- 
tion of their water which is supplied by springs is a stabilizing factor of im- 
portance. " The minimum flow of these rivers is greatly increased by the 
springs, and is much greater than the flow of the streams of equal drain- 
age areas in north Missouri."^ The ordinary low- water flow of Black 
River, for instance, is principally from springs.^" Because of the large 

' Rodhouse, "Preliminary Study Relating to the Water Resources of Missouri," 
Missouri State Univ. Eng. Exp. Sta. Bull. 15, p. 12. 
' Ibid., p. 20. 


amount of underground drainage and because the surface run-off flows 
largely down forested slopes, littje sediment is washed into the streams, 
and the filling in of reservoirs is therefore not so serious a matter as in 
many hill sections. Gradients are for the most part steep. In the 
interior section they rarely fall below 3 to 5 feet per mile, and in many 
streams, sufficiently large for hydroelectric-power development, they 
reach 25 feet.^ Rock-floored stream beds and narrow, precipitous valley 
slopes facilitate the construction of secure dams. Few measurements 
have been published on the regimen of Ozark streams or on their power 
possibilities. Current River at Van Buren had a mean discharge of 1,151 
second feet in 19 13, and on the basis of sixteen -hour service and a 50 per 
cent load factor is considered capable of developing at this place 7,500 
h.p., with a mean head of 25 feet.^ Power possibilities equally as good, 
and better, can be found on other Ozark rivers. Some of the best smaller 
sites are at the "shut-ins" of the St. Francois region, where streams 
form long rapids, inclosed by nearly sheer walls. The incised meanders 
of Ozark streams have resulted in projects at various places for the 
development of hydroelectric power. In Pulaski County the Gasconade 
River makes the 8-mile Moccasin Bend, which brings the river back 
to within a thousand feet of the beginning of the loop. A tunnel through 
this neck would give a fall of 20 feet, capable of developing 5,000 h.p.^ 
Above and below are other similar bends. 

Stages of low water are not very troublesome on most large Ozark 
streams. Underground drainage contributes to every river to a con- 
siderable extent, and the thousands of square miles of forest cover act 
as reservoirs. Current River at Van Buren, with a mean discharge of 
1,151 second feet in 19 13, had a minimum discharge nearly half as great, 
540 feet.'' 

Floods are by far the most serious problem in the use of the Ozark 
valleys and their streams. During the spring and winter following 
the drought of 1901 the Osage was in places 40 feet deep.^ At Van 
Buren, on the Current River, a discharge of 36,000 second feet has been 
recorded.^ The Big Piney River in May, 1892, rose 30 feet from 4:00 
P.M. to 12:00 midnight. The Current River during this same month 

' Marbut, Missouri Geol. Siirv., X, 89. 
= Rodhouse, op. cit., pp. 23-31. 

3 Stevens, Missouri, the Center State, I, 116. 

4 Rodhouse, op. cit., p. 27. 

5 Ball and Smith, Missouri Bur. Geol. and Mines, Ser. 2, I, 14. 
* Rodhouse, op. cit. 


rose 27 feet in about the same time.' In October and November, 19 14, 
rises of 20 to more than 30 feet took place overnight on the Meramec 
and Gasconade rivers and their tributaries. Small valleys, which had 
been without the semblance of a stream in the evening, held torrents the 
next morning which a man on horseback could not ford. In the summer 
of 191 5 almost every large river and creek in the Ozarks was out of its 
banks from two to five times, and communication between many places 
was suspended for days at a time. It is said that Maries Creek rose 20 
feet in three hours, tore loose a raft of 900 ties, and carried it 8 miles in 
43 minutes. The streams usually subside nearly as rapidly as they 
rise, but while they are in flood they may do great damage. Banks are 
undercut, trees uprooted and swept away, fences demoHshed, haystacks 
and shocks of grain carried off, and fields overspread with gravel and 
driftwood. In the lower valleys the deposits of alluvium which are left 
often increase next year's crop sufiiciently to make good the losses of the 
previous season. Floods are the result of heavy rains, of rains on frozen 
ground, or of sudden thaws, to all of which the region is subject. The 
thin soil may be saturated in a brief period, and as the water does not 
enter readily into the compact underlying rock much of it flows off. In 
very heavy rains brooks form in the smallest ravines and rapidly become 
torrents, which, emptying into a larger stream, may swell its volume so 
rapidly that its rise will be in a series of well-defined waves. 

Springs and underground waters. — Excepting the crystalline core, 
parts of the sandstone areas, and a few border regions, almost no Ozark 
valley is without abundant spring water. Webster County claims "by 
actual count more than 2,400 Hving springs of clear water. "^ In 
Shannon, Oregon, and adjoining counties are springs "which are prob- 
ably the largest in the world. "^ The largest of these is Greer Spring, 
8 miles from Alton, which flows at the rate of 430,000,000 gallons per 
day* and forms a stream, at its minimum 25 feet wide and 3 feet deep.^ 
Big Spring near Van Buren forms a stream 100 feet wide and discharges 
223,000,000 gallons per day.^ Bryce's Spring in Dallas County has an 
estimated flow of 161,568,000 gallons per day, and Hahatonka Spring 
in Camden County, of 158,982,000 gallons.^ Other huge springs are 

' Nason, Missouri Geol. Surv., II, 90. ^ State of Missouri, 1904, p. 539. 

3 Shepard, U.S. Geol. Surv., Water Supply and Irrigation Paper 195, p. 214. 
^ Bureau of Labor Statistics, Missouri, igi2, igij, 1914, pp. 132-33. 
5 Shepard, U.S. Geol. Surv., Water Supply and Irrigation Paper 114, p. 217; 
also No. no, pp. 117-20. 

* Rodhouse, op. cit., p. 17. ' Shepard, op. cit. 


Alley's, near Eminence, Meramec, in Phelps County, Fullbright, in 
Greene, and Waynesville, in Pulaski County (Plate III b). Plate XI b 
illustrates springs of intermediate size, which exist in large numbers. 
Ozark springs attracted the attention of the earliest travelers and 
frontiersmen because of their number, size, and excellence; some of them 
were known early as the sources of rivers.^ They are of value not only 
for water supply but as well for power purposes. 

On the undissected uplands the underground water can be tapped 
by boring, but because of its depth and because of the stage of develop- 
ment of the region very few wells have been sunk. In mining operations 
generally large quantities of water are encountered and pumps are in 
operation constantly. In the southeastern lead region the mines furnish 
enough water ordinarily for concentrating the ore and for the water 
supply of the mining towns. In the Federal Lead Company's shafts 
Nos. 2 and 3, 900 to 1,600 gallons enter per minute; in shafts Nos. 
6 and 7, about 2,000.^ 

Ponds.— The upland farmer is in many cases too far from springs to 
benefit by them. His water supply is from cisterns and ponds, both 
easily constructed in the heavy clay soils characteristic of the Ozark 
prairies. Many sink holes furnish a satisfactory water supply. If 
they have not become clogged accidentally, the farmer converts them 
readily into deep ponds by dumping in rocks or brush to catch the slope 
wash, or, if they have a floor of clay, by feeding stock in them and thus 
puddling the floor (Plate XII a). 


Distribution of woodland and prairie. — When the first white men came 
to the Ozark Highland, they found that "both the bottoms and the high 
ground are alternately divided into woodlands and prairies."^ Old 
settlers unanimously state that the forest area is at present greater than 
when the region was first settled. "The greater part .... was up to 
the middle of the nineteenth century a region of open woods, large areas 
being almost treeless. ""^ It appears that the general distribution of 
prairie and woodland was much the same as at present, namely, that 
grasses grew on the undissected plateau remnants and forests occupied 

^ Brackenridge, Views of Louisiana (ist ed.), p. 100; Bradbury, in Early Western 
Travels, V. 

* Buckley, Missouri Bur. Geol. and Mines, Ser. 2, IX, 97, 113. 
3 Stoddard, Sketches of Louisiana (1812), p. 213. 
^ Marbut, Soil Reconnaissance, p. 17. 


the hilly regions. Prairie patches were, however, somewhat larger than 
at present and the forest areas correspondingly more restricted. Also 
many forested tracts had a parklike character, young trees and brush 
being largely wanting. The country north of the Meramec was observed 
in 181 1 as rather thinly timbered. "^ It is related that a Spanish com- 
mandant in 1790 asserted his ability to drive a coach-and-four through 
the open woods from New Madrid to St. Louis.^ 

The relatively smooth western part was mostly prairie, whereas the 
hilly eastern region consisted largely of open woodland and small 
prairies. The boundary between the region predominantly of prairie 
characteristics and the region with open woods dominant lay west of the 
Gasconade and White River basins. At the north Jefferson City was 
approximately at the line of contact of the two areas. ^ East of this 
line were the famous pine forests of the Gasconade, as well as the forested 
country of the White River.'* This eastern and northern region con- 
sisted in the main of woodland, the stand being less dense than at present. 
In it, however, the small areas of level upland, that is, the remnants of the 
original plateau surface, were in large part prairie. Stoddard, writing 
of the eastern part in 181 2, characterized the interstream uplands as 
follows: "Prairies are very numerous; but few of them within our 
settlements, or in the neighborhood of them, are of any considerable 
extent. Some of them, indeed, are many miles long; but they are nar- 
row."' Figs. 15 and 16 show the early distribution of prairie and wood- 
land in Cooper County, on the northern border, and in Miller County, 
in the interior hill country. In these two counties prairies were co- 
extensive with the level uplands, the densest stand of timber being in 
the most dissected regions. 

(i) Of the various influences that caused prairies on the uplands, 
man was chief. Indians and other hunters were wont to set fire to the 
grass in fall or spring in order to improve the grazing for the buffalo, 
elk, and other big game. Fires were also set to drive the game toward 
the hunters.^ Through this practice sprouts and tree seedlings were 
killed, and thus the grasslands were extended at the expense of the 
forests. Prairie fires are mentioned by almost every early writer as 

' Brackenridge, Views of Louisiana, p. 108. 
^ Houck, History of Missouri, I, 26. 

3 State Board of Immigration, Handbook of Missouri (1881), p. 11; Bromme, 
Missouri (1835), p. 12. 

■t Schoolcraft, View of the Lead Mines, pp. 248-50; Brackenridge, op. cit., p. loi. 
5 Stoddard, /oc. a^ ^Ibid. 



the cause of the prairies.^ An incident illustrating this early opinion 
was a refusal in 1830 by the United States of a grant of land to raise 
timber in south Missouri, on the ground that "it is only necessary 
to keep out the fires to cover the prairies with timber by the operations 
of nature."^ The practice of burning was continued by settlers for 
many years, principally to provide grazing for their stock. With 

Fig. 15. — Distribution of prairie and woodland in Cooper County about 1855 
(after Missouri Geol. Surv., I, 202), 

settlement the forest began to reclaim the burned-over tracts. The 
incipiency of such a change is recorded in an account of Howell County, 
on the Arkansas border, in 1844. "The table lands .... had very 
little timber growing on them, but were not prairie. There were what 
were known as post oak runners and other brush growing on the table 

' Stoddard, loc. cit.; Brackenridge, op. cit., p. 108; Featherstonhaugh, Excursion 
through the Slave States, I, 354-55 ; Swallow, Lands and Minerals of Southtvest Missouri, 
p. 4j Duden, Der Ansiedler im Staat Missouri, p. 92. 

^American Stale Papers, Public Lands, VI, 174. 



lands, but the grass turf was very heavy and in the spring of the year 
the grass would soon cover the sprouts and the stranger would have taken 
all of the table lands, except where it was interspersed with groves, 
to have been prairie."^ In the foregoing quotation the scattered groves 

Fig. i6. — Distribution of prairie and woodland in Miller County before 1859. 
This county is unusually hilly (after Geol. Siirv. Missi/iiri Rcpts., 1855-71, p. no). 

of old trees record the first cycle of vegetation; the turf, the next suc- 
cession, consists of grasses resulting from fires, and the sprouts and seed- 
lings are the third stage and the first step in the re-establishment of 
forest conditions. (2) In the western plateau region there are small, 

I Monks, History of Southern Missouri and Northern Arkansas, pp. 7-8. 


flat, and poorly drained areas which are unfavorable to tree growth. 
(3) The western border is continuous with the prairies of Kansas and 
Oklahoma, and like them is a response in part to high evaporation and 
occasional drought. (4) Small grassy areas, which are not known as 
prairies locally, are due to deficiency of soil and ground water. These 
are the so-called "balds" and "glades" (see p. 15). 

The prairies enjoyed an excellent reputation among the stock- 
raisers. They were said to afford "an easy grass for cattle" and an 
"abundance of hay of no very inferior quality."^ The most abundant 
grass and the most prized was the bluestem, because of its nutritiousness 
and rapid growth. It was said to grow "as high as a man's head and 
he upon an ordinary horse. "^ It has not withstood the severe grazing 
to which the region has been subjected, and is now rare. With the 
passing of the bluestem the Kentucky blue grass came into the region 
and now grows wild wherever the soil is of sufficient depth. Before 
1850 it had not been found in pastures, but by 1870 it had become com- 
mon in pastures and on roadsides,^ and now is distributed generally 
through the limestone region of the Ozarks. More recently the sweet 
clover has made its appearance, establishing itself along roadsides, 
on stony slopes, and on gravel bars in creek beds. Although little used, 
it will prove probably a valuable forage plant. Japan clover {lespedeza 
striata) has begun its invasion of the Ozarks, from the south. Observed 
in the White River hills in 1896,'* it has overspread the western border 
almost to the Missouri River. In Cape Girardeau and Perry counties it 
is growing wild in abundance, in forests, along roadsides, and in unused 
fields. A little of it has been observed north of the Missouri River, in 
Warren County. It was probably not introduced in the southeast before 
1900, but it is spreading rapidly northward, thriving like the sweet clover, 
even on thin and stony soils. It is altogether the most significant forage 
plant that has naturalized itself in the state since the blue grass. 

Forest associations. — Extensive forests of yellow and white pine 
were found in early years on the Piney forks of the Gasconade, ^ and in 
Ozark, Douglas,^ Reynolds, Carter,^ and Washington counties.* In 

" Stoddard, Sketches of Louisiana (181 2), p. 213. ^ Monks, op. cit., p. 7. 

3 Broadhead, in Missouri Hist. Rev., VI, 154. 

* Hoover, Missotiri State Board Agric. Bull. Ill, No. 8, pp. 4-5. 

s Flint, Hist, and Geog. of the Mississippi Valley, p. 304; Bromme, Missouri, p. 16. 

* Shumard, Reports Geol. Surv. Missouri (1855-71), pp. 201-2. 
7 Eighth Ann. Rept. State Board of Agric, p. 54. 

^ Third Ann. Agric. Rept. of Missouri, p. 345. 



Ozark County there were pine forests in the sixties, which, it was claimed 
with generous exaggeration, would compare favorably in size and quaHty 
with the forests of Wisconsin and Minnesota. One of these "pineries" 
embraced not less than 130 square miles, another about 90.' A portion 
of the interior hill section was said, in the forties, to yield logs 80 to 90 
feet in length, and with a maximum diameter of 4 feet.^ Fig. 17 shows 

I I Pineries 

A nULs 
Fig. 17.— "Pineries" in Ozark County, 1855 (after Geol. Surv. Missouri Repts., 

the distribution of the larger areas of pine forest in Ozark County. 
Pine forests occupied most of the sandy land, part of the flint ridges 
(especially the southern part of the Clarksville soil) ,3 and in the southern 
counties also grew on the flat clay uplands. The only other common 

'Shumard, op. cit. 

2 Grund, Handbuch wid Wegweiser filr Auswanderer (1846), p. 213. 

3 Brackenridge, Views of Louisiana, p. 106. 


evergreen tree is the red cedar. It grows chiefly on xerophytic hme- 
stone ledges, which are thinly covered with soil. Here it flourishes and 
forms the so-called cedar glades, parklike groves, composed of trees of 
highly symmetrical forms. 

Upland and lowland hardwood types are sharply contrasted. The 
upland forests are composed almost exclusively of oaks, constituting 
one of the largest areas of oak forest and one of the least mixed 
stands of oak to be found in the country. White oak, post oak, 
black oak, and black jack are the main varieties. Of 'its total tim- 
bered area, Barry County reports 60 per cent in black oak, 20 per 
cent in post oak, and the remainder mixed. In some of the other 
counties the percentages have been given as follows: Douglas, white 
oak 20, black oak 24, black jack 10, post oak 5; Iron, black oak 40, 
white oak 40, pine 5; Miller, black oak 20, commercial white oak 5, 
black jack 35, post oak 30; Texas, black jack 35, black oak 25, white 
oak 20; Washington, white oak 35, black oak 25, black jack 15." On 
the ridges black oak and white oak are most common; on the hillsides, 
post oak, white oak, and black jack, the last principally on very dry, 
stony hillsides. Besides the varieties mentioned, the chinquapin oak 
is found on the margins of bluffs. Hickories, especially the shellbark 
and pignut, grow among the oaks on the better upland soils. On the 
west the margin between true forest and true prairie is marked .by a 
scrub oak, black jack association, denoting increasing xerophytism.^ 
In most upland forests the timber other than oak forms a very small 
fraction of the stand, in many cases less than i per cent. The rate of 
growth of upland forests is slow. Giant trees are unknown on the ridges, 
even where there has been no cutting. The second growth, which is in 
very large amount, usually forms a dense stand of tall, slim trunks. 

In the valleys, because of the deeper and richer soil and the greater 
shading and moisture supply, there is a greater variety of forest species, 
and individual trees grow to much larger size than on the uplands. 
Sycamore, cottonwood, sugar maple, water maple, walnut, butternut, 
hackberry, tulip tree, and bur oak were most abundant originally.^ In 
addition the red oak, willow oak, sour gum, ash, pawpaw,^ pecan, and 

^ State of Missouri (1904), county reports. ^ Ibid., p. 234. 

3 Muench, Der Staat Missouri, pp. 35-37. 

■* Joutel {Hist. Coll. of Louisiana, I, 181-82), without naming it, gave an unmis- 
takable description of its fruit in 1687, based on an observation in Ste. Genevieve 
County. This marks probably the first appearance of the pawpaw in literature. He 
described the fruit as being "shaped like a middling pear, \^ith stones in it as big as 
large beans. When ripe it peels like a peach; the taste is indifTerent good, but rather 
of the sweetest." 


many others are found abundantly. Oaks are represented by an 
extraordinary number of species. Richest of all is the forest flora of 
the lowlands and better limestone soils of Cape Girardeau, Perry, and 
Wayne counties, where such southern forms as the cypress, gums, 
pecans, and Spanish red oak mingle with representatives from the east, 
such as the beech, and with the forest associations characteristic of cen- 
tral Missouri. Wherever loess occurs the characteristic vegetation of 
the bottoms extends to the uplands, and grows as luxuriantly there as 
on the lower slopes. 

Here, as in other sections, land has been judged largely by kind and 
size of trees growing upon it, and is still described commonly in terms of 
its prevaihng tree growth. Any of the characteristic mesophytic species, 
such as tulip, hackberry, bur oak, or walnut, are the farmer's guaranty of 
first-class soil. Hickory lands are preferred to oak; black oak (quercus 
velutina) land is preferred to that on which post oak grows; and black 
jack or pine are considered proof of the agricultural unfitness of the soil. 

Since the settlement of the region the following changes have taken 
place in the character of the forest: (i) greater density of stand and more 
undergrowth, as the result of the cutting of the large timber and the 
cessation of fires; (2) a great decrease in the lowland forest area; (3) a 
relative increase of those species that have the most efficient means of 
propagation. Here are, in the first place, the oaks and elms, with their 
coppicing habits, and in the bottoms the sycamore and cottonwood, 
with wind-blown seeds. 

Game and fish.' — The native fauna constituted one of the principal 
attractions of the region to early settlers. The open woodland, rich 
grasses, many fine springs, and numerous salt licks provided conditions 
under which deer, bison, and elk throve. In the homes of pioneers 
even now splendid elks' antlers and buffalo robes recall the days of big- 
game hunting. These animals attracted carnivorous beasts, wolves, 
bears, panthers, and wild cats. In the streams lived beaver,"^ otter, 
and muskrat. Other lesser fur-bearing animals, mostly found in the 
forests, were the mink, raccoon, opossum, skunk, fox, gray squirrel, 
and cottontail rabbit. Bison, elk, and beaver have disappeared from 
the region. The others still are found, though for the most part in 
rapidly declining numbers. It is asserted that deer and wolves are on 
the increase recently, because the slash left by lumbermen in certain 
sections affords means of concealment.^ 

' Schoolcraft, View of the Lead Mines, p. 249. 
^ State of Missouri (1904), p. 227. 


Game birds were similarly abundant in early years. In 1819 
was said that passenger pigeons "are so numerous that the woods seem 
alive with them."^ The region still affords some of the best turkey 
and quail hunting in the country, but turkeys are found only in remote 
sections, and quail are probably not so plentiful as formerly. 

Ozark streams are stocked abundantly with fish of many kinds. 
Typically such a stream consists of a series of shoals or "riffles" and of 
pools which are lined with rock ledges or with driftwood. The water 
is cool and clear and flows in the main over a firm gravel bottom. These 
are ideal conditions for game fish, and consequently every stream of this 
character abounds in bass as well as in jack salmon (wall-eyed pike), 
stone cat, and, in quiet pools, sunfish, locally called "perch" or "peerch," 
and suckers. On rocks, colonies of hog suckers may be seen lying. The 
shoals are frequented by schools of minnows, largely of the dace, darter, 
silversides, and chub varieties. Trout have been introduced with 
success into the Meramec and other cold, spring-fed streams. On the 
lower stretches, where the current is sluggish and the bottom muddy, 
channel cat, bullheads, buffalo, crappie, short-nosed gar, and eels are 

* Schoolcraft, op. ciL, pp. 36-37. 


In 1896 Marbuf^ proposed a division of the Ozarks into physio- 
graphic provinces on the basis of escarpments. This scheme was adopted 
with some simplification by Adams,^ who also added the St. Francois 
Mountains as a separate division. For purposes of geographic discussion 
the subdivision by escarpments is unsatisfactory, because it does not 
imply geographic contrasts and because it is based on a single physio- 
graphic element which is applicable only to the border region, and even 
there only in small part, since the escarpments are discontinuous over 
considerable distances. 

In the following pages an attempt is made to subdivide the Ozark 
Highland of Missouri in such a way as to distinguish each area which has 
internal unity of geographic environment and is in contrast with the 
surrounding areas. To this end the location of the area, topography, 
drainage, soils, minerals, water supply, and vegetation are taken into 
account. Evidently in each region the relative significance of these 
elements varies greatly. In the final analysis the test of the appropri- 
ateness of these divisions is determined by the contrasts exhibited in the 
conditions and occupations of the inhabitants of the different areas so set 

There are three border regions (Fig. 18): on the north the Missouri 
River Border, on the east the Mississippi River Border, and on the west 
the Springfield Plain. The St. Francois region occupies an intermediate 
position, in some respects belonging to the border groups, in others to the 
central group. The Ozark Center is composed of the Central Plateau, 
together with a broad belt of hills partially surrounding it. These hill 
sections are designated the Courtois, Osage-Gasconade, and White 
River hill regions. Topographically the Central Plateau and the hill 
regions are in sharp contrast, but the isolation which is common to both 
types has expressed itself in a similar development and has differentiated 
them from the border areas. 

' Missouri Geol. Surv., X, 29-67, and Plate II. 

* U.S. Geol. Surv., Twenty-second Ann. Repi., Part 2, pp. 69-75; also Folio 119. 





The Missouri River Border occupies nearly 5,500 square miles, of 
which one-sixth lies north of the river, along the southern edge of the 
glacial plains. As it is a transition area to the plains of north Missouri, 
it is not always included in the Ozarks in common usage. 

In its most generalized form the region is a shallow trough, through 
which the Missouri River flows. The trough is elongate east and west 

Fig. 18. — Geographic provinces of tlie Ozark Highland of Missouri: I, Missouri 
River Border; II, Mississippi River Border; III, Springfield Plain; IV, St. Francois 
Knob and Basin Region; V, Courtois Hills; VI, Osage-Gasconade River Hills; 
VII, White River Hills; VIII, Central Plateau. 

and is tilted up at the west. To this form the southern tributaries of the 
Missouri have adapted themselves so as to flow in general in a north- 
easterly or even in an easterly direction. Perennial streams are more 
numerous and on the average larger than in any other part of the Ozarks. 
The southern tributaries of the Missouri are characterized by incised 
meanders of a large pattern, whereas the northern ones have relatively 
direct courses. The number and size of the streams give this region 
accessibility but also make it subject to floods. 


The greater part of the region is rolhng upland, some of 
it of no greater relief than pronounced morainic topography 
(Plate Y b). It contains few large tracts too rough for agri- 
culture. Fig. 19, a profile across Franklin County, shows 
only one narrow strip along the Meramec River in which 
steep slopes prevail. Near the Missouri the slopes are 
lowest on the average. Plate XII b illustrates the rolling 
upland of northern Gasconade County. The steepest slopes 
are along the middle courses of the tributaries, that is, usually 
at a distance of 5 to 15 miles from the Missouri. North of the ( ^ 

river the stage of dissection is more youthful; the valleys are 
deep and steep-sided and the interstream areas, even near 
the Missouri, are flat. The topography north of the river is 
distinguished also by two interrupted escarpments. In the 
proportion of arable area this subdivision ranks second to the 
Springfield Plain. About half the land is in improved farms 
and is divided between uplands and valleys. 

In its course through this region the Missouri River is ) ^ 
confined between rock walls, the width of the immediate ) § 
valley exceeding two miles only in a few places, and aver- 
aging about a mile and a half. The current is deflected from 
one side of the valley to the other and the meanders shift 
rapidly. Missouri River bottom farms therefore are notori- 
ously precarious, many having been destroyed entirely. Its 
changing course keeps the valley slopes undercut to a large 
degree, so that bluffs are a feature of every Missouri Valley 
landscape. l^ c^ 

Solution features are not conspicuous because of the 
maturity of stream erosion. Springs and caves are in general 5^ '^ 
small. Sink holes are most numerous in the Burlington lime- 
stone of the extreme western part of the area.' 

Soils are much above the average of the Ozark region. 
The proportion of alluvial lands to total area is greater than 
in any other section. The upland soils in the order of their 
desirability are loess, Owensville loam. Union, Lebanon, and 
Howell. Loess areas are more extensive than in any other 
section. The Owensville loam is confined to this region. 

Mineral resources are varied, but not of great value. 
Lead, iron, copper, salt, and saltpeter have been produced 

' Van Horn, Missouri Bur. Geol. and Mines, Ser. 2, III, 14. 



in times past. Coal pockets are most numerous in this region, and fire 
clay is found in many places. 

The boundary of this subdivision on the east is placed so as to exclude 
the dissected Big River region and the sandy Tilsit soils. The southern 
boundary is for the most part along a definite break in topography, 
at which soil conditions also change, namely along the northern margins 


Fig. 20. — Contact between Missouri River Border and Osage-Gasconade River 
Hills at Versailles. Contour interval, 20 feet (Gravois Mills Topographic Sheet). 

of the Gasconade limestone. This boundary line parallels the Meramec 
River to the vicinity of Rolla. From RoUa north to Summerfield it 
follows the edge of the dissected Gasconade Valley. The boundary from 
Summerfield to the Osage River is a more indefinite zone. To the south 
the crowding of drainage lines has resulted in intricate dissection, which 
is further emphasized by erosion of the Gasconade limestone. This line 


also excludes the Iberia bench lands from the Missouri River Border. 
Beyond the Osage River the margin of the Clarksville soils and flint 
hills again provides a clear-cut boundary (Fig. 20). 

The region, well supplied with means of transportation and possessed 
of fairly desirable farmlands, is in a rather advanced degree of agricul- 
tural development and was chosen for settlement at an early date. The 
Missouri River, as the one great natural highway leading west from the 
Mississippi, was the first line of settlement beyond the Mississippi. 
Later the lower Missouri country became the starting and outfitting 
station for most expeditions to the Far West. Lewis and Clark, the 
Sante Fe traders, the fur hunters, and the Californian gold hunters all 
left the frontiers of civilization on the lower Missouri. The peculiar 
significance of this river highway has made the Missouri River Border, 
together with St. Louis, the most historic ground in the state. 


On the east the Ozark Border comprises about 2,500 square miles, 
forming a narrow strip along the Mississippi River. From this river the 
entire area is readily accessible. 

The only large stream crossing the region is Big River. The surface 
in general slopes rather sharply from the igneous knobs and Gasconade 
limestone hills on the west down to the Mississippi, and is crossed by 
many small streams. These have relatively straight courses, and for the 
most part flow radially from the St. Francois region. 

Especially on the north, elevation, slope, nearness of the Mississippi, 
and the nature of the rock formations have aided dissection, resulting in 
a region of sharply contrasted hills and valleys. "^ Here the sides of the 
Mississippi Valley consist of wooded hills and sheer bluffs (Plate XIII). 
On the south, especially in Cape Girardeau County, the greater width 
and lesser elevation of the area have expressed themselves in a gently 
rolling limestone upland, similar to north central Kentucky. The 
belted structure of the rocks is reproduced in the topography by a 
parallel series of scarps and platforms, best developed in Ste. Genevieve 
County, and nearly wanting in the southern part. In the central and 
southern sections sink holes are more numerous than in any other part 
of the Ozarks, and over many square miles determine the character of 
the topography. Springs are mostly of small size, uncertain flow, and 
in the sink-hole region subject to surface contamination. 

' See the Crystal City or Renault topographic sheets. 


Due to the structure of the rocks the residual soils form belts extend- 
ing from north to south, as shown in Fig. 1 1. The excellent Hagerstown 
soils belong exclusively to this region, as do the Pocahontas and the 
Tilsit soils, the last of inferior value. The proportion of alluvial land 
is considerably less than on the Missouri River Border, and at least in 
the southern part it is less desirable because of poor drainage. The loess 
belt along the river is also much less important than along the northern 
border. As in the latter, the resources of this province are mainly 
agricultural. Cape Girardeau County especially constituting one of the 
most productive counties of Missouri. 

The forest is more varied in composition and more luxuriant in 
growth than in any other part of the Ozarks, although its area is not 
so extensive as in the interior districts. 

Mineral resources are small and limited mostly to quarry products 
and kaolin. In the past, salt and lead have been produced from this 

The boundary on the west is defined by a belt of rugged flint hills, 
forming in part the Avon escarpment of Marbut^ and represented on the 
soil map as the easternmost extension of the Clarksville type. The 
area could readily be further subdivided into a southern and northern 
portion, the economic resources of the former being far superior to those 
of the latter. 


This region corresponds in the main to the Springfield Structural 
Plain of Marbut,^ and has an area of more than 5,500 square miles. It 
forms the western border of the Ozarks and is bounded on the east 
by the Burlington escarpment and the dissected country of the Pomme 
de Terre and Osage valleys. For the most part it is a gently sloping 
plain, covered by the fertile Springfield soils, and is less diversified in 
surface and soil than any other district of the Ozarks. The relief 
is less and the soil conditions are better than in the rest of the Ozarks. 
Streams flow in rather steep-sided valleys, which, however, are not deep, 
except along the eastern margin. The Neosho topographic sheet shows 
the characteristically youthful stage of dissection, especially in the near 
approach of Diamond Grove Prairie to Shoal Creek, the largest stream 
of the county. The distribution of timber along the valley sides is 
characteristic. The Springfield area, in fact, resembles, in appearance 
and conditions of life, the plains region of eastern Kansas more than the 

' Missouri. Geol. Siirv., X, 34-35. ^ Ihid., pp. 60-67. 


Central Plateau of the Ozarks. It is, however, the western border of 
the Ozarks, historically as well as physiographically. Springfield insists 
upon the title of "Queen City of the Ozarks." 

The upland was covered originally by prairie grasses, trees being 
confined then as now to the valleys. 

In contrast to the two other border regions, the Springfield Plain is 
well supplied with large springs of constant flow. 

In mineral resources this subdivision is first in importance. It has 
long been the world's leading producer of zinc ore and tripoli, has 
yielded large quantities of lead, and has the most important quarrying 
industry of the state. Carthage "marble" is the most widely used 
building stone in Missouri. 

In pioneer days the Springfield Plain was peculiarly isolated because 
of its distance from large streams and of the difficult country situated 
to the east of it. Its history is therefore much more meager than that 
of the other border sections. 


Geologically and physiographically the St. Francois region is the 
center of the Ozarks. In a geographic sense, however, it has been 
largely a border region, (i) because of its nearness to the Mississippi 
and accessibiUty from that stream, and (2) because the agricultural 
conditions of its basins are on a par with those of the border regions and 
superior to most interior sections. 

Its topography has no counterpart in the Ozarks and perhaps not in 
this country. The knobs of igneous rocks rise like irregularly distributed 
mountain islands above the basins formed by the weak limestones and 
shales (Plates I and II). The conical symmetry of the knobs and their 
detached character are not duplicated elsewhere in the Ozarks, nor are 
the "shut-ins." The relief of this area is the greatest of the state and 
the topography in part is mountainous. 

Only two soil types are represented to any extent, the crystalline 
rock soils and -the Fredericktown group. The latter is one of the two 
best residual soils of the Ozarks; the other has almost no agricultural 
value. 'The one type is almost uninhabited; on the other nearly every 
available acre of land is farmed. 

In known mineral wealth this region is second only to the Spring- 
field Plain. In variety it is first. For many years it has been the most 
important producer of lead in America and yields at preS3nt (under 
normal conditions) half the output of the country. It embraces the 


once famous iron mines of Iron Mountain and Pilot Knob, yields much 
of the baryte and all of the granite of the state, and from time to time 
has produced silver, copper, and cobalt. 

As a result of the relief and the superimposed drainage this region 
contains many fine power sites. Most of the streams are small, but they 
make up for lack of volume by amount of fall. 

The region is inclosed completely by ridges of Gasconade and Potosi 
limestone. It includes four major basins, Fredericktown, Farmington, 
Mineral Point-Potosi, and Richwoods. Some of the minor basins are 
Caledonia and Belgrade in Washington County, Belleview and Arcadia 
valleys in Iron, and Patterson and Lodi in Wayne County, all of them 
prosperous farming communities surrounded by a wilderness of igneous 
knobs and flint ridges. 


This is roughly the major area of outcrop of the Gasconade-Potosi 
limestones and therefore the most hilly as well as the poorest part of the 
Missouri Ozarks. The hills are steep-sided, chert-covered ridges, 
monotonous in their similarity. The narrow ridges are almost invari- 
ably forested, mostly with oak. Timber is the principal resource of the 
region, both agricultural and mineral wealth being small. The popula- 
tion is for the most part confined to the valleys. The best farming con- 
ditions are at the south where the Castor, St. Francois, Black, and 
Current rivers have developed wide bottoms, and have worn the flint 
hills to fairly gentle slopes. In the valleys springs of excellent quality 
are extraordinarily numerous. 

Because it is the largest and most compact body of intricately and 
deeply dissected country, this region is the most isolated of the Ozark 
Highland. Roads follow the ridges and are both devious and difficult. 
In most cases the distance by road at least doubles the airline distance 
between two points. 

Wanting a popular name, this region is here called the Courtois Hills, 
because Courtois Creek, in Crawford County, was one of its earliest 
valleys to be settled and because along its course the features of this 
region are developed typically. 


This region embraces the dissected country of the Gasconade and 

' Osage valleys, and the intervening basins of the upper Maries, Tavern, 

the Auglaize, and the lower Niangua rivers. Because of the crowded 

•drainage lines and the extensive outcrops of the Gasconade limestone, the 


Ozark Highland in this section forms a hill country nearly as rugged and 
intricate as in the Courtois region and very similar to it (Plate XIV a). 
The contrast in topography between it and the Missouri River Border is 
shown by Fig. 20. The main watersheds, especially the one between the 
Gasconade and Osage, form a narrow but fairly level upland, on which 
there are some important farm areas, as at Vienna, Dixon, and Richland. 
The other types of land which are desirable for agriculture are: (i) the 
Iberia bench lands, mostly confined to this region, (2) the ''slip-off" 
slopes of the incised meanders, developed perhaps most extensively in 
this area, and (3) bottom lands, numerous and large because of the 
number and size of the streams. 

Springs and solution features, such as caves, sinks, and natural 
bridges, are exceedingly numerous, and have received some notoriety 
through the park at Hahatonka. 

Mineral resources are small. Lead and iron have been produced in 
a small way. 


The upper White River country lies at and beyond the margin of 
the Burlington limestone, here forming the highest escarpment of the 
state. This escarpment has been dissected by the White River and its 
tributaries into a series of long, lobate ridges. In a number of cases 
outhers from one to a dozen miles across have become detached from the 
main body of the limestone and form high buttes, which are a con- 
spicuous feature in almost every long vista. In fact, on these buttes 
panoramic views are disclosed that are unrivaled in extent in the state. 
The next highest level is formed by non-cherty limestone, which has 
formed innumerable glades. The bench lands which line the White 
and its larger tributaries represent a third level. From 50 to 75 feet 
below the bench lands are the present valley floors. The amount of 
incision of drainage lines is not equaled even in the Osage-Gasconade 
region, nor does any other section present such a steplike topography. 
The relief of the area is nearly as great as in the St. Francois region, and 
portions of it are as rugged as the Courtois and Osage-Gasconade hills. 
The topography combines, however, more varied elements than in the 
latter hill belts, and the scenery accordingly is more attractive. Here 
are forested slopes, gleaming Hmestone cliffs, and parklike cedar glades, 
overtopped by level-crested buttes and interrupted at lower levels by 
the horizontal lines of well-farmed benches and bottom lands (Plates 
VII and VIII). The result is a scene which combines magnificence 
and charm to a rare degree. 


Because of the slopes and the great extent of the non-cherty Berry- 
ville soils, soil erosion is a most serious problem in this section. Where it 
can be checked farm conditions are fair. Where it has not been, one 
finds abandoned farms (Plate VI b). The bench lands are the best 
soils of the region. Neither Berry ville soils nor bench lands are found 
to any notable extent outside of this area. 

The region has probably the largest caves of the state. Water- 
power opportunities are excellent. 


The Central Plateau is surrounded on all sides except on parts of its 
western boundary by hill regions. Plate XIV 6 is a view of its most ele- 
vated portion, at Cedar Gap. Excepting the Springfield Plain, it is the 
only part of the Ozark Plateau which has not been dissected extensively. 
Streams flowing across the region have divided it into a large number of 
small plateaus or prairies (Plate VI a). The farms are mostly on the 
upland and provide a livelihood for by far the greater part of the popula- 
tion. The cherty Howell soil predominates (Plate IX), but there are also 
large areas of Lebanon clay and Dent sandy soil. Most of the soil 
is of moderate productiveness. With the exception of the southern part 
the region was not timbered at the time of settlement. 

Although travel across the region is easy, communication with the 
outside world is difficult because of the hill belts which lie between it 
and the Missouri, Mississippi, and Arkansas valleys. This isolation has 
retarded development and still operates to the disadvantage of the 




For more than a century the French were sole masters of this region. 
At the beginning of the seventeenth century French settlements had 
been founded on the lower St. Lawrence. From this base, aided by the 
water routes of the St. Lawrence Basin and stimulated by the large 
profits of the fur trade, they advanced to the western Great Lakes in 
less than half a century. From the lakes it was a short and easy step 
by portages to the Mississippi Basin, hardly interrupting the continuity 
of water transportation for their canoes. Once the Mississippi was 
reached it was inevitable that boats soon would penetrate to its mouth. 
Thus the Ozarks, located on this great pioneer highway between eastern 
Canada and the Gulf of Mexico, became the scene of French enterprise 
before France had been established in the New World a century. On 
the east English colonists at this time had barely passed the Fall Une of 
the Atlantic rivers, hardly a hundred miles from the open sea. Their 
way to the interior was not pointed out by waterways, as on the north. 
Shortly they confronted the Appalachian barrier, which was not passed 
by any large number of colonists until nearly a century after French 
settlement in the Mississippi Valley. 

Since the French came into the Mississippi Valley first from the north, 
the earliest settlements were of Canadian stock, and in the middle valley 
this stock remained dominant throughout the French period.^ In 
Canada the increase of French population was rather rapid. Chmate 
and soil limited the agricultural opportunities of the St. Lawrence settle- 
ments. Part of the surplus population drifted west from time to time 
in quest of furs, milder chmate, and better land, and thus found its way 
to the Wabash and Ilhnois countries.^' After the French secured a foot- 
hold near the mouth of the Mississippi the region came into contact with 
Lower Louisiana, and therefore Creole blood also was introduced into 
the settlements of the middle Mississippi. Commercial relations were 
most largely by the Mississippi River with New Orleans, and found their 

'Du Pratz, History of Louisiana (London, 1763), I, 105-6. Alvord, in Illinois 
Historical Collections, II, xvii; Memoirs of Dumont in Hist. Colls, of Louisiana, V, zi- 
' Monette, History of the Valley of the Mississippi, I, 292. 



expression in the political union of the Mississippi Basin, the middle 
Mississippi and lUinois country forming the District of Upper Louisiana. 

Following the voyage of Marquette and Joliet in 1673, numerous 
exploring expeditions descended the Mississippi from the Great Lakes 
in quick succession and accumulated favorable information concerning 
its valley. This knowledge was disseminated rapidly and soon resulted 
in exploitation and settlement. 

The first permanent settlements between the mouths of the Missouri 
and Ohio rivers were in the Mississippi Valley. These settlements were 
convenient to all the important routes between the Great Lakes and the 
Mississippi River. They lay at the convergence of the routes using 
the Illinois, Wisconsin, and Ohio rivers. As in Canada and Lower 
Louisiana they were riparian settlements or cotes. They lay opposite 
the mouth of the Missouri, the great highway for the furs of the western 
mountains and plains. They possessed an abundance of fertile river 
bottoms and were convenient to the lead mines of the St. Francois 
region. They were also in close proximity to Indian villages. All 
things considered the French could not have selected a better interior 
site than the valley of the Mississippi between St. Louis and Cairo. It 
is possible that the first French estabhshment in this section was a mis- 
sion post on the river " des Peres," now St. Louis.' This place was soon 
abandoned because of its unhealthiness. The first settlement of which 
there is certain knowledge was Kaskaskia on the Illinois side of the 
Mississippi, across from the site of Ste. Genevieve, founded probably in 

1699 as a mission to the village of the Kaskaskia Indians.^ Cahokia and 
Fort Chartres were founded soon after, also on the Illinois side. The 
settlement was in the usual order, missionary first, then fur trader, soldier, 
and farmer. "Habitants" who became established gradually engaged 
in a combination of fur trade, boating, and desultory agriculture.^ 
By 1740 they were supplying New Orleans with furs and skins, as well 
as with wheat and hams.'' 

Apparently by reason of their roaming habits and association with the 
Indians the French of the Illinois side became acquainted at an early 
date with the country west of the river and with its mineral wealth. In 

1700 Father Gravier mentioned a rich lead mine on the river ''Miaria- 

' Journal of M. Austin, Amer. Hist. Rev., V, 538. 

» Thwaites, Early Western Travels, XXVII, note on p. 29. 

3 A good account of these settlements is to be found in Alvord's introduction to 
Illinois Hist. Colls., II. 

4 Memoirs of Dumont in Hist. Colls, of Louisiana, V, 37. 


migoua ' ' (Meramec) . His statement that the "ore from this mine yields 
3 fourths metal" indicates mining previous to this time.' In 1702 
d'Iberville asked for the exclusive privilege of working the mines on the 
Meramec.^ The wording of this petition implies that lead had been 
mined there before that date. The salt springs on Saline Creek, below 
Ste. Genevieve, attracted attention as early as 1687, when they were 
pointed out to Joutel by Indians.^ In 1700 Penicaut described the 
"river of the Saline" in Ste. Genevieve County.^ It is stated that even 
then its salt Hcks were resorted to by the French and Indians.^ The 
use of the salt springs and the presence of lead mines is confirmed by 
Father Marest, of Kaskaskia, in 1 7 1 2 .^ Lead ore and salt springs and to 
some extent furs were the first resources of the Missouri region of which 
the French made use. From temporary visits in quest of these com- 
modities to permanent habijtation was an easy transition, the date of 
which, however, is as uncertain as that of the discovery of these 
resources. In 1704 Governor Bienville reported that French were 
settled west of the river. ^ Penicaut, in his journal of 1700, says that 
"presently" there was a settlement on the Missouri side.» From these 
obscure notes the conclusion may be drawn that Frenchmen were estab- 
lished on the Missouri side, probably only intermittently, at the beginning 
of the eighteenth century, the incentive being primarily mineral wealth. 
The great stores of silver and gold found by the Spanish in Peru and 
Mexico, and the legends of far greater treasure which were current and 
credited at the time, inflamed the French with the hope that their colony 
in the New World might produce mineral riches comparable to those of 
the Spanish possessions. The sections previously opened by France in 
America had disclosed nothing to encourage such a hope. Accordingly 
tales of mineral wealth, emanating from Upper Louisiana, were seized 
upon with avidity, were carried to the Gulf settlements and thence to 
France, and aroused the imagination and cupidity of speculators and 
adventurers. Their desires heightened their credulity so that when 
finds of silver were reported the reports were accepted without question 

' Jesuit Relations, LXV, loi. ^ Hist. Colls, of Louisiana, I, 181. 

^ Houck, Hist, of Missouri, I, 274. t Houck, Hist, of Missouri, I, 247. 

s Carr, Missouri, p. 21. 

^Jesuit Relations (Thwaites), LXVI, 227, 291, 293. The note by Thwaites, 
referring these to a number of IlHnois counties, is in error. Marest says "in the 
neighborhood." The Ste. Genevieve saHnes are nearly across from Kaskaskia, and 
but a few miles removed. 

7 Houck, op. cit., I, 243. * Carr, loc. cit. 


and created great enthusiasm.^ As a result of such tales the Company 
of the West, which had come into control of Louisiana in 1717, dispatched 
several expeditions to explore the region of the Ozarks and to work its 
ores, especially of silver. "In 1719 the Sieur de Lochon, sent by the 
Company of the West in the capacity of a smelter, having dug in a spot 
which had been pointed out to him [on the Meramec River], raised quite 
a large quantity of ore." From this ore he attempted to produce silver 
and finally departed with a few ounces, which it is suspected were intro- 
duced fraudulently, and with forty pounds of lead, as the result of mining 
two or three thousand pounds of ore. His successor disregarded the 
lead and attempted to smelt silver only.^' This nonexistent silver mine 
became a tradition which would not down. It appears in Dumont's 
Memoirs,^ and in the account of Du Pratz,4 both belonging to the middle 
of the eighteenth century. Stoddard revived it in 181 2, s and residents 
to this day insist that the region contains lost silver mines. This 
persistent fiction perpetuated the hope of finding precious metals and 
stimulated exploration and development. 

The next step in the opening of the region was the beginning of 
organized mining by the Sieur Renault, who "left France in the year 
1 7 19, with two hundred artificers and miners, provided with tools, and 

whatever else was necessary In his passage he touched at the 

island of St. Domingo, and purchased five hundred slaves for working 

the mines "^ This imposing expedition was organized expressly 

to try out the mineral wealth of southeastern Missouri. The first 
place at which operations were undertaken was at the old workings on 
the Meramec, where he found, in 1720, rich deposits of lead.'? The site, 
at the junction of the Big and Meramec rivers, was granted to Renault 
in 1723 and constitutes the earliest land grant in Upper Louisiana of 
which there is any record.^ The next discovery of note was made in 
1723 by Renault's agent, La Motte, at the place which still bears the 
latter's name. This mine was worked rather extensively for a period, 
and from 1738 to 1740 furnished almost all the lead exported from the 
region.9 The mines at Fourche a Renault were opened in 1724-25 by 
his company of miners, and the so-called "Old Mines" are said to date 

' Carr, op. cit., p. 23; Monette, History of the Valley of the Mississippi, I, 207. 

=* Charlevoix, Joj^ma^ (1744), VI, 137-38. ^ Sketches of Louisiana, p. 216. 

3 Hist. Colls, of Louisiana, V, 37. ^ Schoolcraft, View of Lead Mines, p. 15. 

"Houck, op. cit., I, 275. 7 Charlevoix, op. cit., p. 139. 

* Casselberry, in Western Journal and Civilian, I, 190; Houck, op. cit., p. 281. 

9 Austin, Amer. State Papers, Public Lands, I, 208. 


from the following year.^ A traveler of a century ago wrote: "Other 
mines of lead were also found, but their distinctive appellations have 
not survived; and a proof to the diligence with which Renault prose- 
cuted [his] object, is furnished by the number and extent of the old 
diggings which are now found in various parts. These diggings are 
scattered over the whole mine country, and hardly a season passes, in 
which some antique works, overgrown with brush and trees, are not 
found. "^ In the years spent in exploration and mining the party headed 
by Renault achieved a number of important results : (i) The great extent 
of the shallow deposits of lead in this section was determined, and at 
least one mining camp. Mine La Motte, which is still an active producer, 
was located. (2) The systematic production of lead was begun, of 
which "there is reason to conclude, that very great quantities were 
made."^ (3) Lead was conveyed from the interior to the river on pack 
horses and thence by boat to New Orleans. From the latter point most 
of it was exported to France.'' Commercial relations with the Gulf and 
with France were thus established through the lead trade. (4) The 
expedition resulted in the first notable immigration into the region since 
the founding of Kaskaskia. A number of families, following Renault's 
party, came to the neighborhood of Kaskaskia from the Gulf and there 
occupied lands.s Although most of the miners left Missouri with 
Renault, it is almost certain that a number remained in the Missouri 
region. In 1803 the "Old Mine" claim of Washington County was 
granted under that name to 31 concessionaires, who were established on 
it.^ Even at that time this tract was considered ancient. It is likely 
that some of its concessionaires were descendants of Renault's miners, 
who first worked that property in 1725-26. A suggestion to this effect 
is contained in an entry of the year 1748 in the parish records of Fort 
Chartres, which refers to the "habitans du village des mines. "^ 
(5) The mining of lead by this party probably introduced slavery into 
Upper Louisiana. 


As a result of the gradual development of mining interests, a settle- 
ment was formed on the right bank of the Mississippi, to serve as a 

^ Ibid., p. 207. ^Ibid. 

* Schoolcraft, op. cit., p. 16. ^Ibid. 

5 Carr, Missouri, p. 24. 

' Record Books, Secretary of State, Survey No. jojg. 
7 Houck, op. cit., p. 378. 


shipping-point for the mines. The site chosen was on the Mississippi 
flood plain, in the so-called Big Field, below the present site of Ste. 
Genevieve and across the river from Kaskaskia/ Here the original 
village of Ste. Genevieve was located. The date of earliest settlement 
is uncertain but probably is before 1732, as a well stone with that date 
carved upon it has been found in the Big Field.^ Stirling, writing in 
1765, stated that the settlement was about thirty years old.^ Pittman, 
writing about 1770, places the date at about 1742.'' This author sums 
up the advantages of the site in these words : "The situation of the village 

is very convenient, being within one league of the salt spring 

A lead mine, which supplies the whole country with shot, is about fifteen 
leagues' distance. The communication of this village with Cascasquias 
is very short and easy, it being only to cross the Mississippi, which is 
about three quarters of a mile broad at this place, and then there is a 
portage, two miles distance, to Cascasquias." At the outset Ste. 
Genevieve was merely a dependency of Kaskaskia, placed on the right 
bank of the river because of the salt and lead on the Missouri side. 
To these advantages are to be added fertile alluvial lands, abundant 
timber and stone, position on the river bank, and easy access to the 
interior because of the absence of river bluffs. 

Before 1763 the settlement increased very Httle. Few grants of 
land were made on the western bank, and these were "mostly designed 
to embrace mineral riches. "^ The farming population remained for the 
most part on the older, Illinois side, where the bottom lands were suffi- 
ciently extensive for the small needs of the settlement.^ Only one grant 
on the west side of the river is known certainly to have been made for 
purposes of cultivation in this period.^ 

After 1763 a number of causes aided the growth of the settlement. 
In that year occurred the cession of the lands east of the Mississippi 
River to Protestant England. Many of the French famiUes left the 
English district in the succeeding years to settle under a Catholic govern- 
ment, administered by their countrymen. These families notably 
increased the settlements of Ste. Genevieve and later of St. Louis. 
In October, 1765, Stirling estimated the population of Ste. Genevieve 

' Watrin, in Illinois Hist. Colls., X, 77. ^ Houck, op. cit., p. 338. 

3 Illinois Hist. Colls., X, 210. 

4 Pittman, European Settlements on the Mississippi, p. 50. 

5 Stoddard, Sketches of Louisiana, p. 224. 

^Ibid. ' Houck, op. cit., p. 337. 


at twenty-five families, and in December at fifty.' In 1766 the inhabit- 
ants of Kaskaskia and Fort Chartres were reported as having gone 
largely to the west bank of the river.^ Among those who came to Ste. 
Genevieve was Francois Valle, long the wealthiest man in Upper Louisi- 
ana, owner in 1770 of one hundred slaves.^ At about the same time 
Mine a Breton (Potosi) and Mine a Robina (two miles southeast of 
Potosi) were discovered and increased mining activities resulted.^ 
Mine a Gerbore (Flat River district)s had been discovered at a somewhat 
earlier date.^ By 1769 the population of Ste. Genevieve and surround- 
ings was estimated at more than 600.^ In 1772 the district possessed 
691 inhabitants, of whom 287 were slaves. Its population was about 
one-seventh greater than that of the St. Louis district at the time.^ 

The American Revolution caused numerous French to emigrate 
from the Illinois country. They were pressed into unwilling service 
against the " Bostoneses " by the British." Clark's capture of Kaskaskia 
brought the Revolution to their midst.'" At the same time the Spanish 
government was offering food, stock, and implements to those who 
would come to Upper Louisiana," and thus a second transfer to the right 
bank took place. 

In 1780 the river bank on which Ste. Genevieve was built began to 
cave rapidly, and in 1784 a few families moved to the present site of the 
city, on the upland adjoining the river bottoms." In 1785 the official 
account states: "The waters have risen so greatly from their source 
that they have entirely submerged the village. All its inhabitants hav- 
ing been obhged to retire with great haste to the mountains which are 
one league away from the said village. They abandoned their houses 
which were inundated, and their furniture and other possessions which 
they had in them.'"^ This year is remembered as the "year of the great 

^Illinois Hist. Colls., XI, 108, 125. 

^ Gordon, Illinois Hist. Colls., XI, 298. 

3 Don Piedro Piernas, in Houck, Spanish Regime, I, 70; Pittman, op. cit., p. 50. 

''•Austin, op. cit., p. 208. ^ Missouri Geol. Surv., VII, 667. 

« Austin, ihid. ' Piernas, loc. cit. 

8 Piernas, op. cit., p. 53. 

9 Cruzat, in Houck, Spanish Regime, I, 154. 
" Houck, Hist, of Missouri, I, 356. 

" Galvez, in Houck, Spanish Regime, I, 156. 
" Houck, Hist, of Missouri, I, 35o-Si- 
« Miro, in Houck, Spanish Regime, I, 235. 


waters." The destruction of the old village proceeded rapidly; many 
of the houses being "washed into the River by the falling of the Bank, 
it was thought advisable to remove the Town to the hights."' By 
1 791 the old village was deserted.^ The new site possessed not only 
security from flood and erosion, but it also had a good water supply 
and was healthful, the old site having been deficient in all these respects.^ 
Kaskaskia, Cahokia, and Fort Chartres, all situated on the flood plain, 
also were flooded and in part destroyed in 1785, "I'annee des grandes 
eaux," and again in later years. The opportunities for relocating these 
villages were not so favorable as in the case of Ste. Genevieve. As a 
result many of the inhabitants of the Illinois side sought safety in New 
Ste. Genevieve.'' 

In 1787 the ordinance was passed which prohibited slavery and invol- 
untary servitude in the Northwest Territory. Slave-owners were made 
welcome by the authorities at Ste. Genevieve and St. Louis.^ A number 
of prominent famihes effected their removal at this period.^ 

For these various reasons, which are connected in the main with the 
formation of an international boundary along the Mississippi River, 
a large part of the French population of the American Bottoms of Illinois 
gradually was transferred to the right bank of the Mississippi. In the 
old graveyard at Ste. Genevieve the most ancient inscriptions usually 
record the birth of the deceased at Kaskaskia, or at one of the other 
IlHnois settlements. 

New Bourbon was founded in 1794, a little more than a mile down the 
river from Ste. Genevieve. The chief element in the selection of the 
site seems to have been the desire of the colonists to be near an established 
French village. New Bourbon was a small settlement of French Royal- 
ists, refugees from the French Revolution, who came to the United 
States, fell into the hands of promoters of the Scioto Company, were 
settled at Gallipolis, Ohio, and there in the midst of the wilderness left 
to a miserable existence. Their lands belonged to another company.^ 
Their location caused them to be subject to fevers.* By their training 

I Journal of Moses Austin, Anier. Hist. Rev., V, 541. 
' Houck, Hist, of Missouri, I, 351. 

3 Fragments of Colonel Aug. Chouteau's Narrative of the Settlement of St. Louis, p. i. 

4 Souvenir of Ste. Genevieve. 

s Stoddard, Sketches of Louisiana, p. 225. 

6 See, for instance, the Beauvais and Janis families in Illinois Hist. Colls., III. 

7 Mississippi Valley Hist. Rev., II, 123. 
* EUicott, Journal (1796), p. 13. 


these people were unfitted for pioneer life. Finally the Spanish govern- 
ment aided them to remove to Upper Louisiana, where they could be in 
contact with their more experienced French-Canadian countrymen of 
Ste. Genevieve. It was in large measure an attempt to ameliorate the 
hardships of frontier hfe.^ The specific purpose for which the Spanish 
government secured these settlers was that they might raise grain for 
the plantations on the lower Mississippi, the food exported from the 
upper region at the time being insufficient to supply the needs of the 
sugar and cotton planters on the lower river and the Gulf.^ The census 
of 1794 reports 153 people settled at New Bourbon; at the same time 
Ste. Genevieve had 849 inhabitants.^ In 1797 New Bourbon, including 
plantations on Saline Creek, numbered 461 people. * Because of its 
dependent location the settlement was gradually absorbed into Ste. 

At the close of the eighteenth century, near the end of the French 
period, the French population of the Ste. Genevieve district lived in 
these two villages and in scattered and more or less temporary groups 
as far west as Crawford County and as far south as Madison County. 
These outlying settlements were composed largely of miners, as at Mine a 
Breton, Old Mines, Mine La Motte, and St. Michaels (Fredericktown 
(Fig. 25, p. 104). 5 In spite of its extent the district usually was con- 
sidered one settlement. It was relatively isolated from the settlements 
north and south; its inhabitants had intermarried extensively;^ and 
there was a high degree of economic interdependence. 


Salt making. — The making of salt, the earliest authenticated occupa- 
tion of the region, was important for more than a century. It served 
not only for the needs of this district, but was a highly profitable article 
of commerce. Salt was made by the evaporation of weak brine from 
springs on Saline Creek below Ste. Genevieve, extending for a distance of 
about two miles from its mouth.^ In 1750 they were said to supply 
"all the salt consumed in the surrounding country, and in many posts 
which are dependencies of Canada."^ As early as 1769 there were four 

' Houck, Spanish Regime, I, 373-409. 3 Houck, Spanish Regime, I, 326. 
^ Houck, Hisi. of Missouri, I, 331. * Ibid., II, 248. 

s Austin, in Amer. State Papers, Public Lands, 1, 209. 
* Trudeau, in Houck, Spanish Regime, II, 248. 
^ Shumard, Repts. Geol. Surv. of Missouri (1855-71), pp. 302-3. 
*Vivier, in Jesuit Relations, LXIX, 221. 


or five houses on this creek, and the amount of salt made was sufficient 
for the settlements on both sides of the river. ^ At this time Pittman 
wrote: "The salt spring .... is for the general use of the French sub- 
jects, and several persons belonging to this village have works here, and 
make great quantities of salt for the supply of the Indians, hunters, and 
the other settlements."^ In 1778 Hutchins found a hamlet here, where 
"all the salt is made, which is used in the Illinois country. "3 In 1797 
Moses Austin reported: "Much Salt is now made and when the Works 
are Extended may furnish all the Upper Settlements on the Missisipi."^ 
The census of 1799 lists 965 bushels, worth $1 .50 per bushel.s In 1807 
the works were in a flourishing condition. Their product commanded 
a high price and was shipped extensively, as few salt springs were then 
known in the upper settlements and the cost of shipping from New 
York was prohibitive. They were said to "supply the whole upper 
country with salt at the rate of two dollars a bushel. Considerable 
quantities are also sent up the Cumberland river into Kentucky and 
Tennessee, where it frequently commands four and five dollars a bushel. 
These works .... at present have forty-six kettles, containing about 
twenty-five gallons each, which produce about fifteen thousand bushels 
annually."^ In 181 2 the salines still supphed a large portion of the 
population on both sides of the Mississippi, and a considerable propor- 
tion of the salt was carried in boats up the Ohio.^ By this time the 
salines of southern Illinois had become important competitors.* In 
1820 the works were abandoned,' as the operation of better salines in 
other sections, especially on the Kanawha and in western Pennsylvania, 
and the introduction of steamboats, enabled the cheap importation of 
salt from the upper Ohio Valley as well as from New Orleans." This is 
the first of numerous instances in which a resource of the Ozark Border, 
highly important in early days both to settlement and commerce, after 
a time ceased to be utilized, not because of exhaustion, but because of 
improved means of transportation. 

' Piernas, in Houck, op. cil., I, 71-72. 

' European Settlements on the Mississippi, p. 50. 

i Topographical Description (Burrows ed.), p. no. 

* Amer. Hist. Rev.,Y, $^6. 

5 Dept. of State, Account of Louisiana (1803), App. II. 

•* Schultz, Travels, II, 73 . 

^ Stoddard, Sketches of Louisiana, p. 401. 

^ Bogess, Chicago Historical Society Collections, V, 170-71. 

•9 Shumard, op. cit., p. 303. " Wetmore, Gazetteer (1837), p. 171. 


Lead mining.- — Ste. Genevieve is characterized in early accounts as 
the place of deposit for the lead from the "mine country," which is the 
district now embraced in Washington and St. Francois counties, and 
as the storehouse which supplied the workers at the mines.^ Most of 
the inhabitants of Ste. Genevieve and New Bourbon were interested in 
mining.^ " The greater part are more or less employed in the lead mines. 
This is a career of industry open to all, and the young, in setting out to 
do something for themselves, usually make their first essay in this 
business."^ The almost universal participation in mining was due 
chiefly to the following factors: (i) Lead occurred as residual or 
"float" ore at or near the surface. Capital was therefore not necessary 
to operate. (2) Most of the lead was worked without paying rent or 
taxes."* (3) It was the export product of the region that was most in 
demand, and most readily commanded a cash price. As a result, it was 
said, "every farmer may be a miner, and, when unoccupied on his 
farm, may, by a few weeks' labor, almost at his own door, dig as much 
mineral as will furnish his family with all imported articles. "s "The 
poor class depend upon the mines to furnish them with lead to purchase 
all imported articles."^ 

Mining for the most part was a seasonal occupation. Stephen Austin 
goes so far as to say that not a single family had spent a winter at the 
well-known Mine a Breton previous to the advent of the Americans in 
1798.7 Especially after the harvest the inhabitants of Ste. Genevieve 
and New Bourbon resorted to the mines; the rich sent their negroes, 
the others did their own mining. This period of activity continued 
from August to December.* Mining was restricted to autumn in part 
because farm work at that season was light, and in part because least 
rain fell then, so that seepage into the pits was least troublesome.' 

The presence of great quantities of residual ore enabled mining by the 
simplest methods. In fact the most itnportant limiting factor was the 
amount of labor available. The account, published by the United 
States at the acquisition of Louisiana, states: "Lead is to be had with 
ease, and in such quantities as to supply all Europe, if the population 
were sufficient to work the numerous mines to be found within two or 

' Schultz, Travels, II, 56; Brackenridge, Views of Louisiana (1811-13, ist ed.), 
p. 124. 

* Austin, op. ciL, p. 207. ^ Austin, op. oil., p. 207. 

3 Brackenridge, op. cit., p. 126. ? Amer. Hist. Rev., V, 519. 

-• Austin, op. cit., p. 208. * Austin, loc. cit. 

^Ibid. 9 Stoddard, op. cit., p. 395. 


three feet from the surface."' Prospecting was limited mostly to the 
areas of the red Fredericktown soil (Bonne Terre limestone),^ in which 
surface concentration was greatest. During the French period, it was 
stated, "the ore has not been sought for in the rock, but has been found 

in the earth in detached lumps The workmen employed have no 

other implements than a pick-axe and a wooden shovel, and when at 
work, appear as if employed in making tan pits, rather than in mining. 
When they come to the rock, or to such a depth that it is no longer 
convenient to throw the dirt out of the hole, they quit, and perhaps 
commence a new digging, as they term it, within a few feet of that which 
they have previously abandoned."^ Bradbury states that at Richwoods, 
in northern Washington County, there had been "made forty trials, 
by simply digging holes, not more than four feet deep." In thirty-eight 
of these ore was found. ■* Single pits at a maximum produced one to 
two thousand pounds; usually, however, the yield was about fifty 
pounds. Where yields were good the entire surface was dug over, so 
that the pits and dumps of a single "mine" not rarely covered fifty 
acres or more.^ Because of the uncertainty of the returns each digger 
worked on his own account. Once in a while one man would produce 
two thousand pounds in a day. The miners were said, however, not 
to "grow rich faster than their neighbors," because of the uncertain 
returns and the extravagant habits which this life engendered.^ 

Smelting was done in as primitive a manner, and but for the rich 
ores and the low cost of labor the industry could not have survived its 
careless methods. The way in which the French smelted was by throw- 
ing the ore on heaps of burning logs, "by which means about f of the 
Lead is lost. Notwithstanding the Imperfect manner in which they 
Melt the Ore, Yet at the Mines of Briton [Breton] last summer [1796] 
was made 400 000 lb Lead."^ 

The smelted lead was at first taken to the river by pack horses on a 
bridle path. "When carried by pack-horses, the lead, instead of being 
.moulded into 'pigs,' was moulded into the shape of a collar and hung 
across the neck of the horse." Later, two-wheeled carts came into use 
and their traces across the hills to Ste. Genevieve formed the first wagon 
roads in Missouri.* 

' Dept. of State, Account of Louisiana (1803), p. 10. ^ 

* Bradbury, in Early Western Travels, V, 248; Brackenridge, op. tit., p. 147. 
3 Bradbury, op. cit., p. 249. ' Bradbury, loc. cit.; Brackenridge, loc. cil. 

* Ibid., p. 250. 7 Austin, Amer. Hist. Rev., V, 540. 
s Brackenridge, op. cit., p. 149. * Houck, Hist, of Missouri, I, 284. 


Agriculture. — The Big Field, on the margin of which both Ste. Gene- 
vieve and New Bourbon were located, is one of the largest compact areas 
of alluvial land on the borders of the Ozarks. This tract was famed at 
an early date for its fertiUty and constituted the principal farming land 
of the villages throughout the French period.' The chief handicap to its 
cultivation was frequent inundation. Trudeau claimed that the inhab- 
itants "are accustomed to lose two out of five harvests regularly, but 
such is the power of custom and of preoccupation that they always per- 
sist in cultivating there. "^ A second large tract was the Grand Park 
Common Field, on the upland southwest of Ste. Genevieve, used chiefly 
for grazing land. The French seem to have occupied almost no farm- 
land outside of these two tracts before the end of the eighteenth century, 
excepting a few grants in creek bottoms. On these detached farms 
stock was kept, and they were known as " vacheries."^ The ease of culti- 
vation on the bottoms, the large yields secured, the ample size of the Big 
Field, and the small wants of the population resulted in the almost com- 
plete neglect of the uplands until after 1796, when American immigration 
was first attracted to the loess lands. At this time also inundation and 
erosion by the Mississippi were troublesome, and to make good their 
losses in the Big Field and escape further damage a number of French 
secured upland grants."* 

The common fields were divided into lots, distributed among the 
heads of households according to station, size of family, and other 
considerations. In the Big Field each lot fronts on the river and extends 
to the bluffs. Most of the lots are 60 arpents long. None are wider than 
3^ arpents. The lots in the Grand Park Common Field had the same 
form. In both cases the entire field was surrounded by a fence, per- 
haps in part a protection against marauding Indians, as Brackenridge 
suggests,^ but probably chiefly to exclude stock. The common field, 
inclosed by a fence or palisade, is a familiar feature of pioneer settlement. 
The curious form of the individual holdings, however, a form which 
persists to this day, is not accounted for readily. In the Big Field the 
river frontage may have been of some value to owners of an allotment, 

' Stoddard, op. ciL, p. 216. 

* Houck, Spanish Regime, II, 248; Stoddard {loc. cit.) placed the loss at one crop 
in ten or twelve years. 

■5 Brackenridge, op. cit., p. 128; Record Books, Secretary of State, Survey Nos. 
2085, 3062, 3063. 

t Record Books, Secretary of State, Survey Nos. 1889, 2046, 2091, 3336. 

5 Views of Louisiana, p. 127. 


but on the upland Grand Park accessibility certainly did not determine 
this form. In neither field were different kinds of land to be distributed 
equally by this plan. It is probable that these attenuated strips were a 
heritage from the lower St. Lawrence or, less likely, from the Mississippi, 
on which they were introduced by the early French because of geographic 
advantages. The French followed the same custom, without apparent 
geographic justification in other localities, as at Vincennes and in 

Isolation necessitated the production of a greater variety of crops 
than is now grown in the region. "They cultivate maize, wheat, oats, 
barley, beans (phaseolus), pumpkins, water and musk melons, and 
tobacco and cotton for their own use. Apples and peaches are very 

fine They pay great attention to gardening, and have a good 

assortment of roots and vegetables."' The principal crops were corn, 
pumpkins, and spring wheat.^ Corn was the leading crop, and of this 
Ste. Genevieve and New Bourbon produced, in 1794, 30,980 minots as 
against 20,150 in the other French settlements of Upper Louisiana. 
In 1796 the amount was 46,190 mmots against 29,228. This superiority 
of the Ste. Genevieve district was due in part to the large area of fertile 
bottoms, in part to the fact that trading interests were of smaller rela- 
tive importance than on the Missouri River, in the St. Louis and St. 
Charles districts. In the same year the two villages produced 13,585 
minots of wheat against 21,480 for St. Charles, Florissant, St. Louis, 
Carondelet, and Marais des Liards.^ 

Stock ranged at will, securing its own sustenance. "They have 

abundance of horses, cows, and hogs, all of which run at large 

They mow a little grass on the prairie, which they make into hay, and 
give it to their horses and cattle when the ground is covered with snow: 
at other times they leave them to provide for themselves. The hogs live 
on strawberries[?], hazle and hickory nuts, acorns and roots, and must 
be occasionally sought for in the woods, to prevent them from becoming 
entirely wild."'* As in most pioneer communities stock raising was based 
largely on an abundance of free range. 

All observers were agreed that even for pioneer conditions agricul- 
tural methods were poor and that they compared unfavorably with those 
of the American settlers who succeeded the French. It was said that 
after planting the crop was "left entirely to nature, no further attention 

' Bradbury, Early Western Travels, V, 260. 

* Views of Louisiana, p. 127. 

^Houck, Spanish Regime, I, 324-25; II, 142-43. •* Bradbury, loc. cil. 


[being] paid to it until harvest. There is a great contrast between the 
lots cultivated by the Americans, and those of the Creoles," the former 
producing a crop at least one-third greater/ One of the foremost 
botanists of Europe made the observation that the French were "so 
much attached to the manners of their ancestors, and even to their 
practices in husbandry, that although they see their American neighbors, 
by the appHcation of improved implements and methods, able to culti- 
vate double the quantity of ground in the same time, nothing can induce 
them to abandon their old practices. "^ The official American account 
of 1803 states that, "though the inhabitants are numerous, they raise 
little for exportation. "3 

The production of grain early led to the building of water mills. 
We have the first record of milling in 1770, at which time the village was 
supplying the traders of St. Louis with flour.4 Because of the agricul- 
tural advantages of Ste. Genevieve the authorities encouraged the pro- 
duction and milling of wheat to supply the demands of the plantations 
on the lower Mississippi. In 1793 Baron Carondelet advanced money to 
build mills at Ste. Genevieve and New Madrid for the purpose of making 
the whole of Louisiana "independent of the supply of American flour 
shipped down the Ohio."s There is record of a mill in 1793 on Dodge's 
Creek,^ and of another about 1797 in the EstabHshment region.^ The 
French district, however, due chiefly to its people, never produced 
sufficient flour to compete seriously with the American trade on the 
Mississippi, which had assumed large proportions. Flour was even 
imported at times.^ At the time of cession to the United States only 
$60 worth of flour was exported in a year.' 

There is no record of other productive activities, excepting the chase 
and the record of a number of grants of creek bottom land for the some- 
what dubious purpose of making maple sugar.'" 

Trade.— The village of Ste. Genevieve, founded for commercial 
purposes, developed a trade in Upper Louisiana second only to that of 
St. Louis. The greatest volume of trade was with Lower Louisiana; 

' Views of Louisiana, p. 127. ^ Bradbury, loc. cit. 

3 Dept. of State, Account of Louisiana, p. 10. 

4 Pittman, European Settlements, p. 50. 

s Houck, Hist, of Missouri, I, 331. ^ Ibid., p. 365. 

7 Record Books, Secretary of State, Survey No. 888. 

* Ashe, Travels in America, pp. 289-90. 

9 Dept. of State, Account of Louisiana (1803), App. IV. 

"> Record Books, Secretary of State, Survey Nos. 443, 20Q3, 2^72. 


then came that with the American settlements on the Ohio, Cumberland, 
and Kentucky rivers.^ With the growth of St. Louis the latter also 
became an important customer. The export trade of Ste. Genevieve 
was largely in lead and salt.^ Grain and flour were much less important 
shipments. The goods imported came up the river for the most part, 
and consisted of "British goods, French and West-India produce. '^^ In 
earlier years the stations at Michilimackinac and Detroit are said 
to have supplied the French merchants to a large extent.'' In con- 
trast with the situation at St. Louis and St. Charles, the fur trade 
never occupied more than a subordinate position in the commercial 
relations of Ste. Genevieve. The village did not possess the river routes 
by which to penetrate to the far interior, and the furs that came to this 
place were collected from a few neighboring Indian tribes.^ The cheaper 
furs of Upper Louisiana took the easier route, down the Mississippi, 
whereas the more costly furs found their way largely as contraband 
trade by canoe to the great fur markets of Canada.^ As a result of its 
commerce a number of the inhabitants of Ste. Genevieve were engaged 
as boatmen.'' 


Besides the Ste. Genevieve settlements there were two semidetached 
groups of French in the Mississippi River Border, one at Cape Girardeau 
and one on the Meramec. Cape Girardeau was founded for military 
reasons in 1793. Several hundred Indian families were induced to 
settle on Apple Creek, above Cape Girardeau, under the supervision of 
a French agent. They were considered "at the devotion of the Spanish 
authorities" and were to be a safeguard against attack from the east 
bank.^ The location of Cape Girardeau was suited excellently to guard 
the Ohio Valley, as it Hes on the first large tract of high ground on the 
right bank of the Mississippi north of the Ohio. Because of the swampy 
land to the south any invasion of Upper Louisiana from the east could 
not take place below Cape Girardeau. In 1796 General Collot expressed 
the opinion that it was the most eligible location for a military establish- 

^ Austin, Amer. Hist. Rev., y, S41', Schultz, Travels, II, 56. 
' Ibid. 3 Ashe, loc. cit. 

4 Parker (1787), in Illinois Hist. Colls., IV, 411. 

5 Brackenridge, Views of Louisiana, p. 127; Austin, loc. cit. 

* Dept. of State, Account of Louisiana (1803), App. IV. 
7 Brackenridge, loc. cit. 

* Stoddard, Sketches of Louisiana, p. 215. 


ment above the Ohio/ The Indian settlement attracted a few French- 
men, but at the time of its cession to the United States Cape Girardeau 
contained only five French families out of a total population of about 
twelve hundred.^ In 181 2 there were only three or four Frenchmen in 
the Cape Girardeau district.^ 

A few families lived on the lower Meramec, in closer touch with St. 
Louis than with Ste. Genevieve. The year 1774 has been cited as the 
date of earliest settlement in this section. Cattle raising and the manu- 
facture of salt seem to have been the chief occupations. ^ As late as 
181 2 salt works on the Meramec supplied in large part the district of 
St. Louis.5 

After 1776 the eastern settlements were united more closely by the 
laying out of the King's Trace from St. Louis to New Madrid. This 
road crossed the Meramec a mile above its mouth and Joachim Creek 
near Horine, passing through Sulphur Springs, Ste. Genevieve, and 
Cape Girardeau.^ 


French adventurers, facile voyagers in the canoe, made their appear- 
ance on the Missouri River almost as soon as they did on the Mississippi. 
In 1 703 a party of twenty-three made a trip up the Missouri in search of 
mines.'' Two years later a Frenchman reported, probably with con- 
siderable exaggeration, that he had been to the frontier of Mexico by 
way of the Missouri. His statement nevertheless displays a correct 
conception of the geography of the Missouri River system at a very 
early date. In the same year fifty Canadians arrived at Mobile, among 
them some who had traded in many Indian villages on the Missouri.^ 

The fur trade on the Missouri River is therefore nearly as old as are 
the lead mines and salt works of the Mississippi Valley. The meager 
records of the time indicate that the Indian trade was prosecuted more 
or less steadily from the outset. In 1722 Fort Orleans was built in the 
Missouri, near Brunswick,' for the purpose of controlling the nearby 
Indians.'" In 1724 a convoy of furs from the Missouri was received at 

' Houck, Hist, of Missouri, II, 174. ^ Stoddard, op. cit., p. 214. 

* Houck, Spanish Regime, II, 403-7. ■» Missouri Hist. Rev., I, 141. 
5 Stoddard, op. cit., pp. 218, 221. 

^Missouri Hist. Rev., I, 141-42; Houck, Hist, of Missouri, II, 150-53. 
7 Houck, op. cit., I, 243. 

* Ibid., p. 244. 9 Amer. Nation, VII, 83. 
"Houck, op. cit., p. 258; Du Pratz, Hist, of Louisiana (London, 1763), I, 296-97. 


Fort Chartres.^ By 1744 it appears that a number of French traders 
had established themselves along this stream, as the census of that year 
records 200 white males then resident on the Missouri.^ By 1758 the 
French had penetrated 300 leagues up the river and had become fairly 
well acquainted with the Osage River. ^ Previously, in 17 19, Du Tisne 
had traveled across southern Missouri, probably reaching a point near 
the headwaters of the Osage River in Kansas/ 

The founding of St. Louis in 1764 provided an adequate base for the 
fur trade, which increased rapidly from that time on. Thereafter the 
Missouri was freighted with an increasing number of traders' bateaux 
going to their various posts laden with implements, powder, lead, clothes, 
trinkets, and often with whiskey, and returning with precious cargoes of 

For many years the only settlements on the Missouri were St. 
Charles and La Charrette, or St. John's.^ The latter was the last group 
of houses passed by Lewis and Clark on the outward journey in 1804.^ 
It was a frontier post and village at the mouth of Charrette Creek in 
Warren County, and probably was founded as early as 1766.7 In 181 1 
it consisted of ten or twelve families, half hunter, half agriculturist.^ 
The site possessed small merit, and the village was after a time destroyed 
by the river. About 1808 Cote sans Dessein was founded, on the left 
bank of the Missouri, near the mouth of the Osage River.^ Its inhabit- 
ants supported themselves chiefly by hunting." This village also was 
located poorly on the bottom land, and was destroyed after a time by the 
encroachments of the river. The people then crossed to the other bank, 
where they established themselves on the upland." Descendants of this 
group still live in the vicinity of Bonnot's Mill, Osage County. 

The Missouri River settlements were concerned primarily with the 
fur trade. It was quite natural that a few half-wild French traders 
should locate on the great route to one of the most important fur districts 
of the New World. Their dependence was on the Missouri River rather 
than on the adjacent country, and so they selected sites at creek mouths, 

1 Houck, loc. cit. 3 Du Pratz, op. cit., p. 295. 

2 Houck, op. cit., p. 286. '•Houck, loc. cit. 
5 Houck, op. cit., II, 91. 

^ Gass's Journal Lewis and Clark Expedition (McClurg ed.), p. 3- 

7 Bradbury, in Early Western Travels, V, note on p. 42. 

* Brackenridge, Views of Louisiana (Journal), p. 205. 

^ Ibid., pp. IIS, 209. ^0 Ibid., p. 209. 

" Maximilian, Prince of Wied, in Early Western Travels, XXII, 242. 


whence they could easily launch their boats into the river. In part 
they traded independently, in part they attached themselves to parties 
from St. Louis. Their villages were a collection of poor huts and their 
habits of hfe very primitive. As a result of their association with the 
Indians, intermarriages were frequent, and the Missouri River settle- 
ments contained a considerable admixture of Indian blood in contrast 
to the French of Ste. Genevieve. 


The French gravitated invariably toward villages except when 
engaged in hunting, trapping, or in some instances in mining.^ Before 
the period of American immigration almost the entire population was 
included in villages. It has been suggested that this condition was due 
to danger from Indians.^ The French seem to have been, however, on 
the best terms with the savages, and early American residents of this 
section lived in isolated estabUshments with impunity. The most 
likely explanation rests on the social instincts of the French and on the 
character of their cultivation. They cared a great deal for the social 
amenities, and could supply these only by living together in villages.^ 
Those who were, for a time, removed from their neighbors in the pursuit 
of furs or the collection of lead returned to the settlements with increased 
desire for the convivial diversions they afforded. Moreover, the French 
produced the food needed to supply their small wants from garden 
patches, which did not necessitate the detached farms on which the 
Americans, producers of extensive crops, lived. 

" The villages were regularly laid out in squares . . . . , the houses 
standing towards the streets, and the interior of the area composed of 
gardens and orchards. "^ Houses built out to the street are still char- 
acteristic of Ste. Genevieve. In contrast to the American dwellings the 
houses of the French were constructed from hewn logs placed in the 
ground perpendicularly and plastered with mud on the outside.^ 
The type is still extant in Ste. Genevieve. The most inviting feature 
of these old houses is the large porch space which they have. Most of 
them were long and had only one story. The porch commonly extended 
the length of the house, and its roof was continuous with that of the 

' Brackenridge, op. cit., p. 113; Viles, Missouri Hist. Rev., V, 214. 
' Austin, Amer. Hist. Rev., V, 519. 

3 Every traveler who wrote about this region has described the social life of the 
French; one of the best accounts is by Thomas Ashe, Travels in Amer., p. 289. 

■» Bradbury, in Early Western Travels, V, 259. s FUnt, Recollections, p. 100. 


house/ This semitropical style of architecture is said to have been 
introduced from the West Indies.^ It has given to the streets of Ste. 
Genevieve, where it is best preserved, a pecuHar charm. 


The French, as earUest inhabitants of the region, estabhshed in a 
section possessing mineral wealth and more than average agricultural 
possibilities, might be expected to have developed prosperous conditions 
and to have maintained precedence in wealth and social position over 
later comers. Most of the French families had been in the region for 
several generations, some of them for a full century, before the Americans 
came. The people were not oppressed by their government; indeed, 
they were ruled benevolently and on various occasions had been subsi- 
dized liberally. It was said that anyone could obtain as much land as 
he chose to cultivate.* Conditions therefore should have been favorable 
to progress. According to the accounts of the time, however, the average 
habitant was little better off at the beginning of the nineteenth century 
than was his ancestor at the time of immigration. The American settler 
speedily dominated almost every field of activity and improved on 
French methods. The French proved inferior to the Americans in the 
following respects: (i) Efficient lead smelting was unknown to them. 
(2) They had sunk no shafts into rock to mine lead, but were content to 
hunt it out from the surface debris. (3) The salt as well as the lead 
industry soon passed into the hands of Americans. (4) French methods 
of farming were distinctly inferior, both as to yields secured and area 
cultivated. (5) In spite of recurrent losses by flood their cultivation was 
limited to bottom lands. (6) With liberal encouragement by the govern- 
ment they failed to produce an appreciable surplus of agricultural 
products, especially of flour. (7) Although land grants of generous 
size were to be had with little trouble, in most cases titles were not 
secured until the Americans came. (8) Their settlements, as Old Ste. 
Genevieve, Kaskaskia, Cahokia, Cote sans Dessein, and Charrette, 
were located with little regard to the safety of life and property, the sole 
consideration being accessibility to waterways and nearness of rich land. 
They were, in large part, truly cotes sans dessein. (9) The Americans 
built better houses at the outset than the French did after long residence.^ 

' Baird, View of the Valley of ike Mississippi, p. 243. 

' Brackenridge, Views of Louisiana, p. iig. 

3 Ibid., p. 141. '' Trudeau, in Houck, Spanish Regime, II, 256. 


The contrast between the two races was commented upon at length 
by early travelers, most of whom ascribed it to an inherent inferiority 
of the French, manifesting itself in indolence. The official American 
account of 1803 described them as characterized by "aversion to labor, 
and love of a wandering life."^ Their environment, however, contributed 
in several ways to this condition, (i) The settlements because of their 
■dependence on rivers were in or adjacent to bottoms, which were malarial. 
"The inhabitants seem indolent, yawning as if under the constant influ- 
ence of fever and ague; which, in fact, they often have."^ (2) The 
isolation of the settlements resulted in consanguinity,^ which possibly 
had deleterious results. (3) The somewhat Arcadian conditions in which 
the population lived did not stimulate endeavor. "Finding themselves 
in a fruitful country, abounding in game, where the necessaries of life 
could be procured with little labour, where no restraints were imposed 
by government, and neither tribute nor personal service was exacted, 
they were content to live in unambitious peace, and comfortable 
poverty."'' "In this remote country, there were few objects to urge to 
enterprise, and few occasions to call forth and exercise their energies. "s 

These environmental handicaps were all temporary, however, and 
when removed the development of the French stock should have been 
parallel to that of the American and later of the German immigrants. 
This has not been the case. A few have been markedly successful in 
trade and professions; few indeed have succeeded in agriculture. The 
majority have remained poor.^ In a number of cases the successful 
French families are not of Canadian stock. The descendants of the 
latter have, on the whole, fared poorly indeed. For the complete 
answer to their lack of success it is therefore necessary to go back of their 
present environment, probably to the conditions under which the emigra- 
tion from France to Canada took place. 


Fig. 21 shows roughly the area in which French influence was felt, 
as recorded by place-names of French origin. French traders have 
given names to the more important features along the Mississippi and 

' Dept. of State, Account of Louisiana, p. 10. 
' Flint, Recollections, p. 97. 
3 Brackenridge, op. cit., p. 135. 

* Hall, History, Life, and Manners in the West, I, 180. 
s Brackenridge, op. cit., p. 134. 

* Oelshausen described their condition as such (1854) in Staat Missouri, p. 66. 



Missouri rivers, most abundantly so in the vicinity of St. Louis and Ste. 
Genevieve. The majority of the places bearing French names, however, 
have never been occupied by Frenchmen, but are river features, named 
by passing traders. 

A large part of the early French stock, distributed as outlined in the 
previous section, has been absorbed. A great many have drifted to 
St. Louis, where they have found congenial occupation in commercial 

— STRram tifiHSO er FRENCH 


FR6N£l< N«Me3. 

SPEECH IS snu, iisei? 

Fig. 21. — Distribution of French influence in Missouri 

pursuits. The remnant areas in which traces of the French language 
still persist are shown in Fig. 21. Ste. Genevieve retains in part its 
French characteristics, and the French still dominate in the old mining 
settlements of Mine La Motte, Old Mines, Fertile, and Valle Mines, and 
on the Missouri at Bonnot's Mill. In Ste. Genevieve, which until 
recently has been a secluded place, they have retained race conscious- 
ness and pride and a fine Old World courtesy. Here centuries-old 
customs may be observed, such as the festival procession and the chant- 
ing of "la gaie annee" at the turn of the year. In the outlying settle- 


ments, as in Washington County, long-continued isolation and poverty, 
due to their establishment in the least desirable districts, have told to 
their disadvantage. The people are dimly conscious of their past. 
Their language has been corrupted to a very poor patois, and for the most 
part they have retrograded with time. The largest district in which the 
French language is spoken today is in the remote hills of Washington 
County, by scattered groups of very backward settlers, half farmers, 
half laborers at opportune employments. 




The first American immigration into the trans-Mississippi country 
was from the Ohio Valley, in response to encouragement by the Spanish 
authorities. Morgan's colony at New Madrid, begun in 1788, is per- 
haps the earliest American settlement in undoubtedly Spanish territory. 
Spain for a time favored American immigration to demonstrate to the 
trans-Appalachian settlements the benefits of Spanish suzerainty and so 
to seduce them from their adherence to the United States. Spain also 
suspected England of designs against Louisiana, and welcomed the 
American frontiersmen as defenders against such an aggression. In 
1 796-97 Spain feared an attack from Canada on Upper Louisiana. " The 
distance of this province from the capital, added to a wilderness of nearly 
a thousand miles in extent between them, seemed to point out the neces- 
sity of strengthening it."' For this purpose inducements were held out 
to immigrants. Lands were given gratuitously, except for the cost of 
survey and confirmation, and were exempt from taxes. Americans 
were preferred, "as their prejudices against the English were a sure 
guarantee of their attachment to the Spanish interest."^ 

The inhabitants of the New West as yet possessed but poorly defined 
ideas of the body politic to which they belonged. Their isolation from 
the seaboard states excluded them at first from an active part in the 
government of the country and denied them most of the benefits to be 
anticipated from their adherence to the Union. Neither actual benefits 
nor the sentiments that arise with time had provided the strong bond of 
patriotism to hold them fast to the United States. Granted some 
material inducement, many a frontiersman was quite ready to transfer 
his allegiance from the United States to the king of Spain. In fact, 
the transfer meant little change in his political condition, for the govern- 
mental control exerted by either power over the inhabitants of the 
interior regions was slight and little was demanded in taxes or service. 
The American resident of the west bank of the Mississippi, having com- 
plied with the formahties of his transfer, lived, as he had lived previously, 

' Stoddard, Sketches of Louisiana, p. 225. ^ Ibid., p. 249. 




St.Looi J 

by self-constituted order which he estabhshed and enforced in his 
pioneer community. His Ikw was not determined by federal statute nor 
royal promulgation, but was the code of frontier society. 

A number of conditions made the Spanish offer of free lands attract- 
ive to many, (i) The Ohio River led directly from the older American 
settlements to Upper Louisiana. 
By it especially were emigrants 
directed westward. Thus a tongue 
of settlement extended down the 
Ohio in advance of the settlement 
of districts remote from that river. 
By the end of the eighteenth cen- 
tury American settlements had 
extended to the mouth of the Ohio 
and into western Kentucky and 
Tennessee, and the vanguard of 
emigrants was ready to cross the 
Mississippi. (2) The prairie region, 
beginning a short distance north of 
the Ohio, was considered unsuited 
to agriculture. The opinion of one 
of the best-versed men of the day 
was: "A small part only of that 
extensive tract between the Mis- 
sissippi and Vincennes .... will 
ever be settled. The scarcity of 
wood and water furnish insuper- 
able objections to it."' (3) The 
resources of the trans-Mississippi 
country had been made known, 
although Httle developed, by the 
French, whom the Americans were 
encountering continually on the 
Mississippi and Ohio rivers. (4) 
The lead mines were favorably known throughout the country. (5) Brad- 
bury sums up the agricultural attractions of the region as being " inferior 
to no part in soil or climate," while the sparse stand of timber gave 
excellent grazing and made the clearing of land for cultivation an easy 
matter. (6) The same author stated the following commercial advan- 
tages of its location: (a) the transit to New Orleans could be made at 

' Ibid., p. 262. 

Fig. 22. — Areas having a population 
of more than two to the square mile in 
1800 (after Spanish census of 1800, in 
Houck, Spanish Regime, and contempo- 
rary sources) . 



any season, whereas because of low water the upper Ohio was not navi- 
gable in the months following the harvest ; (b) the region in general was 
600 to 1,000 miles nearer that city, the only market then available, than 
was the upper Ohio Valley/ Another early visitor to the region gave the 

VI a. y r\ €. 

i I 0-2. per stj.m b=l ».-6 flUII more Hian 6 

Fig. 23. — Population of Missouri, 1820-21 (after census of 1820, Campbell's 
Gazetteer, and other contemporary sources). 

following account of prices in the Mississippi Valley as determined by 
the stage of water in the Ohio. "In December and January the price 
of beef would rise to 27 cents a pound, flour to 8| dollars, and everything 
else in proportion. The inhabitants of Missouri at this time would have 
no compunction and could sell as they chose, and did sell at a fourfold 

' Early Western Travels, V, 262. 



advance. No sooner did the Ohio rise than the states contiguous to it 
flooded the markets with produce and a barrel of flour dropped from 
8| to 2| and 2 dollars."' (7) Men of means were attracted because the 

Fig. 24. — Population of Missouri, 1830 (after census of 1830 and other con- 
temporary sources). 

keeping of slaves was permitted.^ (8) Land titles in Kentucky were in 
considerable part defective and were often contested.^ (9) Some left 

' Sealsfield (Sidon), Nordamerika, II, 126. 

' Stoddard, op. cit., p. 225; Bogess, Chicago Historical Society Collections, V, 55; 
Record Books, Secretary of State, Petitions of E. Cohan, Survey No. 1015, and of 
N. Cook, Survey No. 342. 

3 Volney, The Soil and Climate of the U.S. (1804), p. 339. 


the American territory south of the Ohio because of increasing taxes and 
land values/ In the minds of many westerners the sale of lands by 
Congress, even at a very normal sum, contrasted unfavorably with the atti- 
tude of Spain.^ (lo) Until 1799 public lands in the Northwest Territory 
could be bought only in tracts of 4,000 acres^ and no land was sold west 
of the mouth of the Kentucky River before 1804.'' (11) Almost the 
entire area of Illinois was held by Indian tribes, the first important extinc- 
tion of Indian titles being in 1803.5 Similar conditions prevailed in other 
parts of the Northwest Territory. (12) Settlers on the west bank of 
the Mississippi had at all times free access to New Orleans, the only 
available seaport west of the Appalachians. 

As soon as the way was opened immigration began with a rush. In 
1796 it was claimed that more than eight hundred Americans were fixed 
in the Missouri country and that they were driving out the French, who 
were returning to Canada and Lower Louisiana.* In this year Austin 
said, "Land have already been granted to 1000 Famehes Near four 
Hundred of which have arrivd from different parts of the United States. "^ 
In 1804, 1,721,493 arpents of land were claimed in Upper Louisiana, 
largely by Americans.^ From 1796 to 1803 the Spanish officials were 
overwhelmed with petitions for land grants. In the Missouri and Mis- 
sissippi borders and in the St. Francois region a large part of the most 
desirable agricultural and mineral lands was granted to American 
immigrants before the cession of Louisiana. These Spanish claims, 
as they are still called, form a mosaic of irregular tracts, large and small. 
They include most of the Fredericktown soils, a large part of the Hagers- 
town, loess, and alluvial lands of the eastern and northeastern borders, 
and extensive areas of surficial lead deposits. These grants outline in 
some sections the most desirable tracts of land with great nicety. 

After the transfer of Louisiana to the United States the land policy 
of the new government affected the settlement of the region unfavorably 
to some extent. It was made the subject of memorials and of much 
criticism on the part of citizens of the territory, by whom speedy occupa- 
tion of the public domain and security of possession were the objects most 
desired, (i) At the end of the Spanish period fraudulent practices were 

' Volney, loc. cit.; also Record Books, Secretary of State, Petition of Wm. Murphy, 
Survey No. 2053. 

^ Parker, in Illinois Hist. Colls., IV, 410. ^ Ibid., p. 80. 

3 Bogess, Chicago Hist. Soc. Coll., V, 76. s Ibid., p. 79. 

^Volney, The Soil and Climate of the U.S. (1804), p. 339. 

7 Amer. Hist. Rev., V, 535. * Stoddard, op. cit., p. 245. 


employed to secure claims of land.' Congress accordingly refused to 
confirm many of these Spanish grants. They were subjected to numerous 
investigations and the titles of many of them were not decided for several 
decades. As a result, the Mississippi River Border especially, in which 
most of these grants were located, suffered. (2) In 181 5 an act was 
passed providing for the relocation of lands lost or damaged in the New 
Madrid earthquake. The act was said at the time to have led to "more 
downright villainy than any law passed by Congress."^ These reloca- 
tions were largely made in the Missouri Valley and introduced many 
questionable titles into that section. (3) As an early attempt at con- 
servation the government reserved the public lands supposed to contain 
lead, iron, or salt,^ of which 150,000 acres were classed as lead-bearing 
lands. 4 In 1828 the state of Missouri made application for the sale of 
these lands, representing that large fertile tracts were thus kept from 
entry and that under existing conditions they were of benefit to no one.^ 
In 1830 the reserved lands were offered for sale.^ (4) Sales of public 
land were not held until 181 7, ^ and for some time thereafter were infre- 
quent. The minimum price of $1 . 25 an acre was considered prohibitive 
for nine-tenths of the land of the state.* As a result of these conditions 
it was claimed in 1828 that "hundreds of our citizens have left to seek 
lands in the Mexican states; and not one-third are possessed of lands."' 
The principal result of the government restrictions, however, was prob- 
ably not so much to retard growth as to increase the proportion of 


The early immigrants were mostly of southern stock," a majority 
coming from Tennessee and Kentucky. In fact the settlement of this 
portion of Missouri was by the extension of the settlements of these 
states. Of the thirty-two framers of the state constitution in 1820 
whose birthplaces are known, nine came from Kentucky, eight from 
Virginia, three from Tennessee, two each from Maryland, Pennsylvania, 
and Missouri, whereas North Carolina, South Carolina, the District of 

^Ibid., pp. 253-57. 

' Amer. State Papers, Public Lands, IV, 47. 

i Ibid., V, 622. 7 Ibid., XV, 1 25. 

* Ibid., IV, 559. * Amer. State Papers, Public Lands, V, 622. 

5 Ibid., V, 604. 9 Ibid. 

« Niks' Register, XXXVIII, 123. '» Niles' Register, XVII, 288. 


Columbia, New York, Ireland, and Wales each contributed one.' Per- 
haps the five best-known names of early years in Cape Girardeau County 
are those of Ramsay, Byrd, Russell, Rodney, and Randol. The first 
of these families came directly from Virginia. The Byrds moved from 
North CaroHna to Washington, and later to Knox County, Tennessee; 
thence the whole kindred set out for Missouri. The Russells were 
originally from North Carolina, but had been long resident in Tennessee. 
The Randols were from Pennsylvania.^ A record of the old settlers 
of American descent, taken in 1888, for Cape Girardeau, Perry, 
Franklin, St. Francois, Bollinger, and Wayne counties shows that the 
following states contributed most numerously, in order: Tennessee, 
North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky.^ Virginia, 
Pennsylvania, and North Carolina were situated at the eastern termini 
of the only routes across the Appalachians then available. Tennessee 
and Kentucky received the overflow from the seaboard states, and in 
their turn became the distributing centers for newer regions farther 
west and south. Those who went west from Kentucky or Tennessee 
were at most one generation removed from the Atlantic seaboard states. 
For example, Senator Lewis Linn was a native of the Bluegrass of 
Kentucky, his parents having removed to that region from Pennsyl- 
vania.4 Emigration from southern states was due in the first place to 
the economic pressure caused by extensive, wasteful farming, largely 
with slave labor, which demanded large farms, depleted the soil rapidly, 
and tended to drive out the farmers who were not slave-owners. The 
lack of manufactures and the primitive condition of commerce in the 
southern states prevented absorption of the surplus farm population into 
other pursuits. The result was the first great wave of emigration from 
the seaboard to the West, which was not spent until it had overspread 
the Mississippi Basin as far west as Texas and Kansas. Southern Mis- 
souri was so situated as to intercept a large part of this westward-moving 
stream of population, especially that which descended the Ohio, Cumber- 
land, and Tennessee rivers. Some of the Missouri and Mississippi River 
portions of the state of Missouri still retain in large part dominant 
southern traits, and are referred to occasionally by their poHtical antago- 
nists as Bourbon districts. 

Many of the emigrants from the southeastern states were of the 
restless frontier type, leading a seminomadic life at hunting and farm- 

^ Missouri Hist. Rev., VI, 62-63. 

'History of Southeastern Missouri, pp. 272-79. 

3 Summarized from Hist, of Southeastern Missouri. •» Life of Dr. Linn, chap. i. 


ing and removing to newer lands whenever the older region became 
fairly well settled. In the main these people formed the advance guard 
of civilization on the outer margin of the frontier. From Missouri 
many later moved to the newer West. A few remained because of the 
excellent hunting which the state afforded. The last home of Daniel 
Boone was in this state; near by Kit Carson spent his early years. A 
more stable group, which came from the South at an early date, was com- 
posed of slave-owners, who found a climate and soil suited to the success- 
ful employment of slave labor and a government which permitted their 
ownership.^ A third group included small farmers, notably Scotch- 
Irish and Germans, chiefly from the Appalachian Valley and from the 


The Mississippi River Border of the Ozarks, being nearest the Ohio, 
was the first part of Missouri to receive settlers (Fig. 25). Because its 
various parts were almost equally accessible settlements were formed 
throughout the length of the region at about the same time. The more 
favored parts of the adjacent St. Francois region were occupied within 
a few years of the first locations in the Mississippi Border. The 
principal attractions to settlement were accessibility, bodies of Hagers- 
town, Fredericktown, loess, and creek bottom soils, lead mines, and 
salt springs. 

Because the resources of this eastern region are distributed very 
unequally settlement was not effected by gradual, even expansion, 
but consisted in the early formation of nuclei of population at the most 
desirable locations, and the filling in of the intermediate areas slowly, and 
in some instances at much later dates. 

Cape Girardeau was one of the earliest American settlements in the 
Mississippi Border and soon became the most flourishing. In 1795 
Ramsay located on a creek southwest of Cape Girardeau and subse- 
quently a settlement formed around his plantation, most of the older 
farms being in the creek bottoms.. A settlement was made on Hubble 
Creek in 1797,^ and on the Whitewater, with the most extensive bottoms 
in the county, in 1796.^ In 1798 the American settlers numbered thirty 

' Brackenridge, Views of Louisiana, p. 116. 

^ Houck, Hist, of Missouri, II, 185. 

3 Encyclopaedia of the History of Missouri. 


families/ mostly located in these first years on Hubble, Whitewater, and 
Cape La Croix creeks.^ Shortly the desirability of the Hagerstown 
upland soils was recognized. In 1799 the Byrd settlement was formed on 
the upland, its location being described as resembling a park.^ This 
soil attracted rapidly great numbers of settlers,'' most of its area in this 

l^'J^NJ School sections- swamp lands 

■■ Entries Ufire. ISZO 

mn Entries 1820-30 

fS^ Entries liZO-HO 

^?^^ Entries latO-SO 

^^ Entues I8S0-60 

I I Entries ffhi I860 

Fig. 25. — Order of land entries in Osage County (prepared from Land Entry 
Book, County Clerk's Office, Linn). 

county being included in Spanish surveys. In 1812 the Hagerstown 
upland was described as possessing a luxuriant soil, well covered with 
timber and inferior to none in Upper Louisiana; "the richest and most 

' Trudeau, in Houck, Spanish Regime, II, 247. 
* Amer. State Papers, Public Lands, II, 477-82, 

3 Houck, Hist, of Missouri, II, 184. 

4 Viles, Missouri Hist. Rev., V, 198-99. 


industrious farmers in this part of the world are the proprietors."^ 
Most of the loess soils of the southern part of the county also were entered 
before 1803. With its large areas of desirable soils and good streams for 
mill purposes^ the population of the district grew rapidly. In 1799 there 
were 521 settlers.'' In 1800 it contained 740 people; in 1803, 1,206; 
and in 1810, 3,883.4 In 1818 Cape Girardeau had the reputation of 
being "one of the most flourishing settlements on the western waters. "5 
In 1821 the county had a population of 7,852^ (see Figs. 22, 23). 

The town of Cape Girardeau was the river port for this section, 
being located on "the first bluff that offers a site for a town above the 
mouth of the Ohio."^ It had 300 inhabitants in 181 1.* Subsequent 
to 181 5 its growth was checked by the founding of Jackson,^ which was 
located more centrally with reference to the fertile Hagerstown and loess 
soils, and was made the county seat. Even in pioneer days Jackson 
derived an unusual affluence from its tributary territory." It contained 
houses "built of brick and handsome,"" both unusual in a western town. 
In 1826 the Jackson community was said to be the most compact settle- 
ment in the state." On the west there was an isolated settlement in the 
St. Francois Valley, which developed a small trading center in 1819 
at Greenville, '■s on a ford of the St. Francois River, and later became 
expanded into Wayne County. 

In Perry County the first American settlements were made about 
1787 by a group of Pennsylvanians in the Bois Brule bottoms of the Mis- 
sissippi. The fertile bottoms of Brazeau and Apple creeks were occu- 
pied next, in 1797.''' Custom directed the first settlers to the bottoms, 
but experience soon demonstrated the advantages of the upland lime- 
stone soils. The first large settlement in this district was made by 
Kentuckians, at the Barrens, in 1801-3.^5 xhe Barrens were an almost 

' Stoddard, Sketches of Louisiana, pp. 214-15. 
^ Flint, Recollections, p. 232. 

3 Dept. of State, Account of Louisiana (1803), App. II. 

'I Darby, Emigrants' Guide, p. 142. ^ Beck, Gazetteer of Missouri, p. 228. 

s Ibid. 7 Flint, loc. cit. 

* Brackenridge, op. cit., p. 131. 
9 Hist, of Southeastern Missouri (1888), p. 425. 
■0 James, in Early Western Travels, XVII, 39. 
" A. A. Parker, Trip to the West and Texas (1835), p. 266. 
" Flint, loc. cit. 

'3 Hist, of Southeastern Missouri, p. 458. 
'•• Houck, op. cit., I, 381-87. '5 Ibid. 


treeless upland tract' of Hagerstown soil, described as "a body of good 
second rate soil, well adapted to the growth of all the small grains, lies 
high, is well watered, has excellent timber, and is settled by a consider- 
able number of industrious and independent farmers."^ In the Barrens, 
Perryville was laid out in 1822. ^ Later St. Mary's was founded and 
became the river port for this important interior farming district, as 
well as for Mine La Motte.'' 

The town of Ste. Genevieve remained French in its dominant char- 
acteristics long after it became a possession of the United States. s 
In the region adjacent to Ste. Genevieve only a small number of Ameri- 
can farmers settled, selecting principally the loess uplands.^ The coun- 
try in general was too rough, its soils were not sufficiently rich to attract 
much immigration, 7 and there was a rather large indigenous population. 
The development of the region to the west, however, by American 
settlers enlarged the trade and population of Ste. Genevieve. In 181 1 
the town, together with New Bourbon, had about 1,400 inhabitants,^ 
among whom were a number of Americans, engaged in commerce. 

As with the French, the lead mines were again the first attraction 
which brought American immigrants to the district now included in 
Washington and St. Francois counties. In 1798 Moses Austin was 
granted a square league of land at Mine a Breton,' and in 1799 the first 
family settled there. '° Austin's settlement formed a nucleus for the 
Americans who came into that section, and soon a considerable village 
was formed." By 1804 there were twenty-six families at this place," 
and as the operation of the mines increased in the following years many 
more were attracted.'^ Thus Mine a Breton became the town of Potosi, 
which shortly was made the county seat, as the miners were an unruly 
class and their control from distant Ste. Genevieve was a difficult matter.''' 

'Handbook of Missouri (1881), p. 214. 

^ Van Zandt, Full Description of the Military Lands, p. 104. 

3 Hist, of Southeastern Missouri, p. 449. 

^ Ibid., p. 410. 

s Baird, View of the Mississippi (1832), p. 243. 

' Trudeau, in Houck, Spanish Regime, II, 248. 

' Stoddard, Sketches of Louisiana, p. 216. 

8 Brackenridge, Views of Louisiana, p. 125; Stoddard, op. cit., p. 215. 

» Amer. State Papers, Public Lands, I, 209. 

'" Amer. Hist. Rev., V, 519. 

" Ibid. « Schoolcraft, Travels, pp. 243-44. 

'^ Amer. State Papers, Public Lands, 1, 209. ^'^Ibid. 


Near the close of the eighteenth century the increased prospecting due 
to American immigration led to the discovery of a number of mines. 
The Mines a Joe (Desloge), a Lanye, a Maneto, and a la Plate (all on 
Big River) were opened between 1795 and 1801^ and formed the beginnings 
of St. Francois County. In 1804 ten mines were worked in the neigh- 
borhood of Ste. Genevieve.^ Mine au Shibboleth (three miles east of 
Old Mines) was discovered in 1805 or 1806^ and Bryan's (Hazel Run) 
in 1809.4 Schoolcraft in 1819 listed forty-five mines, of which twenty- 
five were in the vicinity of Potosi.s From 1 798-1816, it is said, 9,360,000 
pounds of lead were smelted in the Potosi region.^ Some of the discov- 
eries were highly remunerative. Mine au Shibboleth is said to have pro- 
duced 4,000,000 pounds in one summer,'^ and Bryan's Mine yielded 
between 600,000* and 1,000,000 pounds in a year.' As long as such 
finds were made immigration to the Potosi region continued. 

Agricultural settlements in the St. Francois region kept pace with 
the mining development. Before the end of the first decade of the 
nineteenth-century settlements of some size had been formed on all the 
larger basins of the Fredericktown limestone soil. Early descriptions 
of areas of this soil are, without exception, in highly appreciative terms. 
According to an account of the time they "embrace a large body of very 
rich land, having every necessary advantage of timber and fine water, 
and are in a high state of cultivation, and improvement by a large num- 
ber of excellent farmers."" Belleview Valley and Murphy's were both 
settled in 1798." Belleview Settlement was mentioned frequently in 
early accounts for its fertility and prosperity." In 1804 it contained 
twenty families.'^ It is now a quiet little community, little larger than 
a century ago. Murphy's Settlement is in the largest tract of good land 

' Austin, in Amer. State Papers, Public Lands, I, 207-8; locations from Missouri 
Geol. Surv., VII. 

* Stoddard, Sketches of Louisiana, p. 394. 

3 Bradbury, in Early Western Travels, V, 251. 

* Brackenridge, Views of Louisiana, p. 154. 

s View of the Lead Mines, pp. 65-66. * Brackenridge, loc. cit. 

* Schoolcraft, Tour into the Interior, p. 4. ' View of the Lead Mines, p. 75. 
7 Bradbury, loc. cit. '» Van Zandt, op. cit., p. 104. 

" Houck, Hist, of Missouri, I, 372, 375. 

" Schoolcraft, View of Lead Mines, p. 51 ; Van Zandt, op. cit., p. 105. Oelshausen, 
Staat Missouri, pp. 13-14; Beck, Gazetteer (1823); Dana, Geog. Sketch on the West- 
ern Country (1819); Brown, Gazetteer, p. 19. 

'•5 Amer. State Papers, Public Lands, I, 209. 


in the St. Francois region. In 1818 it was said that Murphy's is "a, 
large and flourishing neighborhood of industrious farmers, and presents 
many well cultivated fields, fenced in a neat and substantial manner."^ 
Here Farmington was founded in 1822^ and soon became a substantial 
town. Other early settlements were at Caledonia in southeastern 
Washington County,^ Cook's in southeastern St. Francois County ,4 
Stout's in Arcadia Valley, and St. Michael's near Fredericktown.^ The 
last named is in a large basin, isolated from other agricultural areas 
by igneous knobs and ridges of Gasconade limestone. It has developed 
individually therefore and has become the administrative seat of 
Madison County. 

In the northern part of the Mississippi River Border the places 
available for settlement were fewer and smaller. On the Meramec the 
river bottoms are of small extent, and farms were opened slowly.^ 

Here Schoolcraft observed in 1825 "still a dearth of settlements 

In the distance of twelve miles, there are but six farm-houses passed."^ 
The early population of this district centered about Joachim and Plattin 
creeks,* where the principal farming districts lie.' These valleys are 
also readily accessible from the Mississippi. The isolated bottoms of 
Big River were settled after 1799 through a grant which stipulated that 
the settlements should be fifteen miles from any previous ones.'" The 
steepness of slopes and absence of desirable residual soils prevented the 
spread of early settlements beyond the valleys and kept this section 
from becoming as well populated as were other parts of the eastern 
border (Figs. 23, 24). 

Topography, soils, and mineral resources determined the location 
of these well-defined nuclei, in each of which, with the exception of the 
Big River settlements, a community center developed shortly. Eight 
of these nuclei grew into counties. They are Cape Girardeau-Jackson 
(Cape Girardeau County), the Barrens (Perry County), Ste. Genevieve 
(Ste. Genevieve County), Murphy's (St. Francois County), Mine a 
Breton or Potosi (Washington County), St. Michael's (Madison County), 

' Schoolcraft, Tour into the Interior, p. 90. 
^ Hist, of Southeastern Missouri (1888), p. 440. 

3 Schoolcraft, View of the Lead Mines, p. 51. 

4 Van Zandt, op. cit., p. 104. 

5 Houck, Hist, of Missouri, I, 377-78; Beck, Gazetteer, p. 239. 

* Brackenridge, Views of Louisiana, p. 114. * Houck, Hist, of Missouri, I, 379. 
7 Schoolcraft, Travels, p. 237. » Beck, Gazetteer, p. 236. 

'" Hist, of Franklin and Jeferson Counties (1888), p. 372. 


Greenville (Wayne County), and Joachim and Plattin valleys (Jefferson 
County). In each instance but the last the approximate site of the 
pioneer community has become the county seat. 


Whereas the Mississippi lay across the path of westward migration 
and settlements were made in its various parts almost simultaneously, 
the Missouri Valley was a continuation of this course of movement and 
was occupied from east to west. 

The first important American settlements were in St. Charles County 
and southern Warren County and formed a tongue extending upstream 
from the mouth of the Missouri. Here Daniel Boone and his colony 
located on the rich bottoms of Femme Osage Creek in 1797. On Tuque 
(1799), Charette, and Lost creeks (1801) numerous locations were made 
under the Spanish authorities, in part by the expansion of Boone's 
colony. The settlement of the Femme Osage-Charette vicinity consti- 
tuted the district of St. Andrews and was sufficiently important by 1803 
to be noticed in the account of the Department of State of that year. 
This account also mentions the Kentucky origin of the Missouri River 
settlements.^ The river margins of Franklin County had settlers at 
least as early as 1803.^ Loutre Island, Montgomery County, a large 
tract of Missouri River bottom land, insular only at high water, was 
occupied probably in 1798, and a few years later had a sufficiently strong 
settlement to withstand serious attacks by the Indians.^ By 1799 the 
American settlements above St. Charles on the Missouri had taken second 
place among the districts of Upper Louisiana in the production of corn 
and tobacco. 4 Because of the hostile attitude of the Indians pioneers for 
a time did not pass the Loutre,^ and some even withdrew from their 
exposed locations.^ 

The next area of extensive settlement was the Boonslick country, 
which included, according to a definition of the time, "the whole tract of 
country comprehended in Cooper and Howard counties, extending on both 
sides of the Missouri from the mouth of the Osage to the western Indian 
boundary, "7 but which was limited more commonly to the present limits 

' Dept. of State, Account of Louisiana, p. 10. 
^ Hist, of Franklin County (1888), p. 222. 

3 Thwaites, Early Western Travels, XIV, note on p. 134; Bradbury, ibid., V, 47. 
< Dept. of State, Account of Louisiana, App. II. 
s Darby, Emigrants' Guide, p. 303. * Houck, op. cit., II, 94. 

' Quoted from Franklin (Missouri) Intelligencer (1819), in Missouri Hist. Rev., 
I, 311- 


of Cooper and Howard counties. Boone came here at least as early as 
1807 to make salt. A permanent settlement was begun in 1810.' The 
earliest locations were at Heath's . Creek Salt Springs,^ on the Lamine 
River in Cooper County, where Brackenridge describes a thriving 
settlement in 181 1,^ and in Howard County near New Franklin. Of 
these, one on the Lamine was the largest, and extended six or eight 
miles.'' Fig. 15 shows the location of the principal brine springs in 
Cooper County. 

The Boonslick country contained numerous salt springs, good 
water, fine grass, sufficient timber (Fig. 15), the largest area of loess 
soils in the state, and many good bottoms. It amply supplied, there- 
fore, the necessities of pioneer life. The fame of this new country spread 
quickly, and one of the most notable rushes of immigrants in the annals 
of the state resulted. In 181 1 there were sixty families in the district. 
In 1815-16 the county of Howard was created. In 1816 alone more than 
one hundred families came.^ By 181 7, 1,050 white males were enumer- 
ated.^ It was praised at the time as "no -doubt the richest considerable 
body of good land in the Missouri territory; and is equal, if not superior, 
to the best part of Kentucky. "^ Three years' later there was a total 
population of more than eight hundred families (Fig. 23).* In 1835 
it was still considered "the largest and most populous settlement in the 
State."' "The whole current of immigration set towards this country. 

Boon's Lick, so called Boon's Lick was the common center of 

hopes, and the common point of union for the people. Ask one of them, 
whither he was moving, and the answer was, 'To Boon's Lick, to be 
sure.' .... And thus wave propels wave."" This section was sought 
largely by southern slave-owners," who were bent on establishing planta- 
tions of generous size, but also by families from New England and New 
York, who made the tedious journey by way of New Orleans." 

Two towns were founded at an early date in the Boonslick country, 
on opposite sides of the river, nearly across from each other. In 181 2 
Cole's Fort was built, on the upland overlooking the Missouri River, 

'Thwaites, op. cit., V, note on p. 52. 

' Cooper County, in Encyclo. of Hist, of Missouri. 

J Views of Louisiana, p. 1 15. ■• Ibid. s Darby, loc. cit. 

« View of the U.S.A. (London, 1820), p. 666. ' Ibid. 

* James, in Early Western Travels, XIV, 148-50. 

' A. A. Parker, Trip to the West and Texas, p. 261. 

"• Flint, Recollections, p. 202. " Darby, loc. cit. 

" Schoolcraft, View of Lead Mines, pp. 231, 234. 


for protection against the Indians.^ It became the town of Boonville 
in 1817.^ The site not only was well suited to defense but formed an 
excellent river harbor and a place for transshipment for the region to the 
west and south, as it lies near the southwestern extremity of a large 
rectangular bend of the Missouri. The town of Franklin was laid out 
on the flood plain of the Missouri in 1816,^ near the present site of New 
Franklin. In 181 8 one of the three land offices of the state was estab- 
lished here.'' In less than two years the transformation of a cornfield 
had taken place into a city of two hundred houses with "a great number 
of genteel habitations, many merchants' storehouses, a court-house, all 
appendages of a seat of justice," and other improvements of civilization.^ 
Both places became great distributing points for emigrants,^ not merely 
for Boonslick but for points farther west, as they were for a time the 
westernmost towns of the Mississippi Basin.'' 

The settlement of Boonslick was followed by the filling up of 
the country between it and the older settlements to the east. In 
181 1 there were two families in the Gasconade region.* By 181 8 
settlements were strung all along the Missouri Valley. Deeds from that 
period in the Gasconade County courthouse record a lively transfer of 
real and personal property by a considerable number of people. In 
this intermediate region settlements for some time were confined to 
the Missouri Valley and the adjacent loess bluff lands,' as the quality of 
most of the uplands was not such as to attract early settlement, and the 
tributary valleys were somewhat isolated. Land values along the 
Missouri in 1835 were given at one to five dollars an acre.'" 

The rapid influx of immigration gave rise to many town projects. 
The town of Gasconade was laid out, at the mouth of the river of the 
same name, as the site of the state capital. Osage City had a similar 
location relative to the Osage Valley," and lots to the amount of $20,000 

^ Hist, of Cole County (1888), p. 203. 

= Thwaites, Early Western Travels, XIV, 89, 134. 

3 James, in Early Western Travels, XIV, 148-50. 

■•Houck, Hist, of Missouri, III, 183-84. 

s View of the U.S. A . (London, 1820), pp. 54, 680. * ]}^iles' Register, XVI, 256. 

7 See C. A. Murray, Travels in North America (1834-36), p. 245, for an early correct 
estimate of the relative value of the two sites. 

* Brackenridge, Views of Louisiana, p. 207. 

' Hist, of Franklin and Jeferson Counties (1888), p. 220. 

"> Murray, ibid., I, 241. 

" James, in Early Western Travels, XIV, 144; Niks' Register, LXVII, 304. 


to $30,000 were sold, but no improvements were made/ Newport, 
seat of justice of Franklin County, was located at the mouth of Boeuf 
Creek.^ Other towns along the Missouri River were Pinckney, Thorn- 
tonsburg, Missouriton, Roche au Pierce, and Columbia.^ Most of them 
had no geographic justification. In 1819 it was said: "Numerous other 
towns, .... containing from one to half a dozen houses each, are to 
be met within a few miles Almost every settler, who has estab- 
lished himself on the Missouri, is confidently expecting that his farm is 
in a few years to become the seat of wealth and business, and the mart 
for an extensive district. "^ Almost without exception these places 
were located on the river flood plain at landings. Consequently they 
were malarial,^ subject to flooding, and in time most of them were 
destroyed by the river. The fate of Franklin was foretold within 
seven years of its foundation.^ Of the entire number only two remain, 
Boonville and Jefferson City, both located on the river bluffs. 


Settlement proceeded by a rapid and rather even expansion wherever 
the surface presented only slight irre^larities, the soil was uniformly 
good, and timber was generally available. This was the case in the areas 
of loess, Hagerstown, and Fredericktown soils, and to some extent in the 
valley of the Missouri. In the rest of the Missouri and Mississippi River 
Borders, however, the progress of settlement has been very unequal and 
in some sections vacant lands existed until recently. 

Fig. 25 shows the order in which land entries were made in Osage 
County, and is typical of a large part of this region. The entries before 
1820 comprised all of the Missouri bottoms, about ten locations at short 
distances from the Missouri River on small creeks, several on the loess 
bluffs adjacent to the river, and one on the Gasconade River. In the 
next decade a few small entries were made on the Gasconade, on the 
smaller creeks, and on the loess lands, and the first one on Maries Creek. 
The increase from 1820 to 1830 was slow because of the attraction of the 
Boonslick to immigrants of this period. By 1840 all of the desirable 
loess land had been entered, a great number of entries had been made on 
the creeks, and a few in the Osage and Gasconade valleys. By this 
time the entries outlined the drainage of the county in considerable 

' Wetmore, Gazetteer, p. 63. t James, op. cit., p. 146. 

^Beck, Gazetteer, p. 264. ^ Ibid., p. 158. 

3 Houck, loc. cit. 6 Jifid^^ p i4Q^ 


detail. A majority of these entries were of small size, consisting of from 
forty to eighty acres, and were located in small valleys in which there 
is relatively little cultivable land. With the exception of the river 
bluffs, the uplands remained unoccupied. By the end of the forties the 
choice ridgelands within fifteen miles of the river had been taken up and 
by another decade all the uplands in the rest of the county which were 
sufficiently extensive to farm. The great number of entries in the 
decade 1850-60 was due largely to. the passage of the Graduation Act, 
which reduced the cost of land in accordance with the length of time 
it had been subject to entry. The entries subsequent to i860 have been 
mostly of rough hillsides. The factors determining the order in which 
the land was entered in this county are: (i) accessibility, primarily 
from the Missouri, to a lesser extent from the Osage and Gasconade, 
and later from the railroads; (2) open texture of soil and suitability for 
working with weak implements; (3) fertility of the soil, the higher-priced 
lands today being in large part the earlier entries ; (4) presence of good 
water; (5) timber and stone; and (6) healthfulness. 

One of the more notable things about the early locations is the large 
number of small entries which were made on small creeks before the much- 
superior bottom land on the larger streams was occupied, except in the 
Missouri Valley, and also before the smooth upland was taken. Except 
in the case of the very best lands, the pioneer used different standards 
than are employed today by which to judge the merits of a location. 
These small homesteads on the "branches" were almost invariably at 
a spring, and this was the first consideration in their selection. Timber 
and stone also were to be had near by for buildings and fences. In 
most cases there was enough arable land at hand to grow "truck" for 
the family. Many of the early settlers came from the hill country of 
Tennessee and Kentucky, were more hunters than farmers, and derived 
part of their support from the raising of stock, which ranged about at 
will. For them a clearing on the wooded hillside, close to the grassy 
uplands, was most desirable. Here game was secured most readily, and 
here the cattle and hogs could find ample sustenance. These settlers 
needed neither much land nor fertile land. Finally, in contrast to the 
bottom lands, the hillside clearings had good water and good drainage 
and were therefore healthful. 

From the days of first settlement the larger bottoms were breeding 
places of malaria, differing, however, in the degrees of the unhealthful- 
ness. The Mississippi River bottoms, which had perhaps the worst 
reputation, were low, subject to flood, and contained many sloughs. 


Schoolcraft strikingly describes the contrasted conditions of health in 
the upland of the mine country and in the Mississippi lowlands. 

Those diseases which prevail more or less every summer on the American 
bottom, and other rich and level tracts of Illinois, Ohio, and Indiana, have not 
found their way into the interior of Missouri, where there is no stagnant water, 
no repositories for mud and slime, brought down by the annual floods, as is 
the case on the immediate banks of the Mississippi, Ohio, and other great 
western rivers, and no pestilential airs from decaying vegetable, and drying 

ponds. The Je-oer and ague is a very rare thing at the mines During 

a residence of ten months at the mines, I have not witnessed a single death, or 
heard of any happening in the country. At the same time, the margin of the 
Mississippi, on both sides, has been the scene of frequent deaths, and, during the 
summer months, of almost continued disease.^ 

Featherstonhaugh described the settlers in the Mississippi bottoms 
as follows: "Their sallow, emaciated countenances, that looked dis- 
tressed by the monstrous quantities of calomel they were accustomed 
to take, and the feeble and uncertain steps with which they went about 
their avocations, betrayed how dearly they paid by the loss of health 
for the privilege they enjoyed of occupying a fertile soil."^ As a result 
of the prevalence of fevers few Americans were willing at first to locate 
in the Mississippi lowlands, preferring generally the uplands.^ The 
lower valleys of the St. Francois, Castor, and Black rivers were also very 
unheal thful, as they were drained poorly. In Greenville, on the St. 
Francois, the first settlers were said to be dying "by inches of chills and 

On the Missouri River conditions were somewhat better, as the land 
is on the whole higher, and the river, flowing in a relatively narrow valley, 
has not developed sloughs to any great extent. On this stream most of 
the undrained depressions are near the base of the bluffs, and these places 
were most feared by the settlers.^ Fevers were sufi&ciently common in 
the Missouri bottoms so that immigrants were advised to avoid them.^ 
Nearly all the farmers who cultivated land on the flood plain built their 
homes "on the eminences, rather than below on the bank of the river, 
where the air is said to be less salubrious."^ The lower Osage and 

■ View of Lead Mines, pp. 30-31. 

^ Excursion through the Slave States, I, 302. 

3 Stoddard, Sketches of Louisiana, p. 237; Brackenridge, Views of Louisiana, p. iii. 

* Featherstonhaugh, op. cit., I, 335. 

s Muench, Der Staat Missouri (1859), pp. 26-27. 

* Baudissin, Der Ansiedler im Missouri Staate, pp. 2-3. 

7 Maximilian, Prince of Wied, in Early Western Travels, XXII, 240. 


Gasconade valleys also had evil reputations. The scanty settlements 
on the Gasconade prior to 1850 (Fig. 25) are to be explained primarily 
by the prevalence of malaria. The fertility of the river lands was well 
appreciated, but the fear of fever kept most of the early settlers in the 
more healthful creek valleys. As a result, the best farms of the northern 
border were along creeks which had ample land for cultivation and for 
pasturage, and were sufficiently drained to be reasonably free from 

The malarial nature of these lowland fevers is indicated clearly by 
the statement that the disease was generally of the intermittent kind, 
was limited largely to lowlands, and was induced "by the pestilential 
vapors, which arise from the rivers, and from the decayed vegetable 
substances. "=* Most settlers, especially those from the North, had to 
undergo a period of acclimatization; they were warned that "sooner or 
later comes the fever. "^ The control of malaria has been a slow and 
difficult matter. In 181 1 it was observed that the disease was due 
partly to decaying vegetation.'' It was discovered early that the clearing 
of the land reduced the fevers. s Chiefly by thus reducing the breeding 
places of the mosquito through clearing and drainage the larger bottoms 
have been made tolerable. 

Extensive upland prairies were avoided during the first years of 
settlement for the usual reasons. The earliest settler on the prairie 
in Gasconade County is said to have abandoned his claim owing to the 
absence of water and the difficulty he experienced in breaking the sod.* 

The location for a home having been chosen, the improvement of the 
homestead proceeded after the established fashion. The help of the 
neighbors was given freely to the newcomer in the erection of his home 
and in the clearing of land. The typical homestead consisted of a 
one- or two-room log cabin, surrounded by fields in which the deadened 
trees remained standing.^ Many of the log houses were made in the 
Virginia style, consisting of a double cabin with an intermediate space 
which was roofed over. This place formed a "cool and airy retreat," 
in which most of the household labors were transacted during the hot 
season.^ The furnishings of the house were few, simple, and homemade. 

' Muench, op. ciL, p. 28. 

2 Stoddard, Sketches of Louisiana, p. 237. 3 Muench, op. cit., pp. 59-60. 

4 Brackenridge, Views of Louisiana, p. iii. 5 Baudissin, loc. cit. 

* Hist, of Franklin and Jeferson Counties (1888), p. 620. 
7 Tixier, Voyage aux Prairies Osages, p. 81. 

* James, in Early Western Travels, XIV, 134-35. 


"'A four-posted sassafras bedstead was regarded with admiration. 
Earthenware cups, saucers and plates were unknown, and knives and 
forks did not exist until after the first quarter of the century had passed."' 
Most of the first settlers had mills of their own for grinding corn, ranging 
from hollowed-out stumps to band mills operated by horse power.^ The 
dwelling-house was the only building erected at first. Granaries were 
not needed, tools were too few to require a shed, and stock remained out of 
doors throughout the year, finding shelter under trees or projecting ledges 
of rock.3 In not a few instances the lack of a cellar was made good by a 
cave, in which "the farmer keeps his meat or butter fresh and sweet. "4 
On many farms a small springhouse, built of logs or stone over a spring, 
provided a cool and sanitary place for the storing of perishable food. 
The timber supplied a great number of pioneer needs. Furniture was 
made from black walnut, cherry, or sassafras. The water maple and 
butternut furnished dye for homespuns. From the sugar maple "long 
and short sweetening," that is, sugar and syrup, were made, as well as 
vinegar. In the hollow trunks of the sycamore grain was stored. Hick- 
ory furnished wagon-tongues and handles. Oak was used for shingles, 
boards, cooperage, and wagons; red cedar for shingles, churns, and chests, 
and almost any long-grained wood for fence rails. s 


The activities of the pioneer were not directed toward the production 
of specialized commodities. Because of his isolation he was forced to 
produce whatever things were necessary to the sustenance of his family, 
or as many of them as possible. The intermediate climate of Missouri, 
the favorable association of forests and grassy tracts, the abundance of 
springs, the many mill sites, and the varied mineral resources enabled 
the pioneer in most localities of the border regions to live in almost com- 
plete independence of the older sections. This diversity of resources was 
more important then than now, and caused many sites to be more desir- 
able for settlement to the pioneer than they are to the farmer of today. 

Hunting and fishing. — Few of the American settlers were hunters or 
fishermen by avocation, but almost all of them supplemented their 
living by these means. Venison, bear meat, wild turkey, and wild 
honey were an important part of the food supply of the pioneer.* Deer 

' Bryan, Missouri Hist. Rev., IV, 89-90. 

* James, loc. cit. 

3 Ibid. 5 Muench, op. cit., pp. 35-41. 

* St. Louis Republican, November 3, 1863. ^ Baudissin, op. cit., pp. 12-21. 


were common along the Missouri River until well after the Civil War. 
Fish were taken in quantity by nets and traps, especially on creeks, 
in the backwaters formed by rivers in flood. Along the Missouri River 
on such an occasion farmers not infrequently secured a year's supply 
by salting down their catch and packing it in barrels.' 

Field agriculture.— The agricultural settlers formed at all times an 
overwhelming majority in the northern and eastern border regions. 
In 1819 it was stated that "the farming class is by far the largest; 
as the fertility of the soil, and the advantages of procuring lands on easy 
terms, and in a mild climate, afford the strongest and surest prospects of 
gain to the emigrant."^ 

Agricultural conditions of the time were well summarized by Duden, 
a German traveler, who compared them with the European conditions. 
He observed the following points of contrast: (i) Land was easily 
procured, whereas labor was scarce. (2) Buildings and fences were 
inexpensive. (3) The only land fenced was that from which stock was 
excluded. (4) Stock received almost no attention. (5) Fertilizers 
were not used. (6) Corn raising was the basis of all agriculture, cotton 
was produced in sufficient quantity for home needs, and tobacco was one 
of the most important cash crops. (7) Maple trees supplied the farm 
requirements of sugar and syrup. (8) The character and amount of 
production were affected by the fact that markets were for the most 
part hundreds of miles distant, and that it was often necessary to con- 
struct one's own boat in order to ship to market.^ 

In variety of products the pioneer farm surpassed the farm of today. 
In 181 2 the characteristic products of the region were said to include 
corn, wheat, rye, oats, barley, buckwheat, tobacco, hemp, cotton, flax, 
melons, sweet and Irish potatoes, apples, pears, peaches, plums, and 
berries.4 Of these, corn, wheat, cotton, tobacco, and flax were the more 
important.^ The earliest record of production by Americans is a census 
of the Cape Girardeau district in 1803. According to this there were 
produced 58,990 bushels of corn, 39,000 pounds of cotton, 2,950 bushels 
of wheat, 9,200 pounds of flax and hemp, and 19,000 pounds of maple 

I Muench, op. cit., p. 68. 

* Schoolcraft, View of Lead Mines, pp. 171-72. 

i Reise nach den westlichen Staaten, pp. 26g-7i. 

^ Stoddard, Sketches oj Louisiana, pp. 227-28. 

s Hist, of Franklin and Jefferson Counties (1888), p. 220. 

^ Houck, Spanish Regime, II, 403-7. 


At first corn was produced much more extensively than all other 
crops, because (i) it is equally satisfactory as food for men and stock; 
(2) it keeps in the fields as long as desired; (3) it gives large returns for 
the seed used; (4) it grows on newly cleared land which is too rich in 
humus for small grains, and which is not in condition to have the seed 
bed prepared as carefully as is necessary in the case of small grains; 
(5) the climate of the region is well suited to the production of corn; 
and (6) it was readily marketable as whiskey. Between the rows of 
corn a secondary crop often was grown, usually pumpkins or beans,' 
Corn was produced on uplands and bottoms alike. All the rich upland 
soils were heavy producers. This is true especially of the loess lands 
of Cooper and Moniteau counties, but also of the Hagerstown and 
Fredericktown soils. On the uplands after a time other crops were 
introduced, but the bottom lands almost invariably were planted to 
corn year after year. Even under the careless tillage of the day they 
are said to have produced fifty to sixty bushels an acre.^ In some bottom 
fields probably no other commercial crop ever has been produced down 
to the present day. 

The leading corn-producing sections, such as Cooper County, also 
grew most of the oats. Because of the climate the culture of oats 
never assumed large proportions. 

Wheat production increased rather slowly, and finally displaced 
corn only on certain uplands.^ In 1840 the yield of wheat exceeded one- 
tenth the yield of corn only in Cole, Franklin, St. Francois, Ste. Gene- 
vieve, and Washington counties. It was at about this time that wheat 
first became a staple crop of the border regions.'' There were three 
chief reasons for the increased interest in wheat-growing at this period. 
(i) The upland soils, which at first produced good corn, became depleted, 
especially in humus, through the continued cultivation of this one crop 
and no longer furnished favorable moisture conditions for corn. The 
older counties, with large areas of cultivated uplands, therefore first took 
up the extensive cultivation of wheat. (2) " Many lands, which formerly 
were little regarded and considered infertile, because of a scant growth 
of timber, and yielded only poor corn, now produce the most abundant 
crops of wheat, "s At about this time the cultivation of the somewhat 
less desirable Union and Lebanon soils commenced, and these clay soils 
of rather low humus content proved well suited to wheat. These lands 

'Muench, Staat Missouri (1859), p. 11 1; Beck, Gazetteer, p. 185. 
* Stoddard, op. cit., pp. 228-29. t Muench, op. cit., p. 112. 

3 Ibid. s Ibid. 


are usually in good condition for the preparation of the seed bed in fall, 
but are cold in spring. They are therefore wheat but not corn soils. 
(3) Many Germans settled in the border regions about the middle of the 
century. These people were expert growers of small grains. By i860 
the wheat crop in every county exceeded 10 per cent of the corn crop, 
except in Cooper, Moniteau, and Morgan counties, which were located in 
the region of the most extensive loess soils. In Perry and Ste. Genevieve 
counties the value of the wheat crop equaled or exceeded that of corn. 
In Ste. Genevieve, Perry, and Cape Girardeau counties the Springfield 
soils, previously little desired, had been found peculiarly adapted to the 
raising of wheat.^ Similarly, on the Hagerstown soil of the same section, 
wheat was found to grow unusually well. In these three counties, there- 
fore, wheat growing became increasingly important. The city of Cape 
Girardeau became a milling center of note, which took highest honors on 
its flour at three international exhibitions in one decade. == At present 
much of the Hagerstown soil of Cape Girardeau Coimty is "tired," as 
the farmer puts it, from several generations of dominant wheat farming. 
Tobacco was a most valuable export crop^ because it had least bulk 
and commanded a good and fairly steady price. Its cultivation was 
aided by the following facts: (i) It was most profitable on newly cleared 
ground, of which there was an abundance for many years. (2) The 
early settlers came mostly from tobacco-growing sections and were 
skilled in its production. (3) Slave labor was employed, especially on 
the river bottoms, in the laborious task of cultivation. The early inter- 
est taken in this crop is shown by an act passed in 1821-22, which pro- 
vided for county inspection in order to control the quality of the leaf. 
In 1824 thirty-eight hogsheads of tobacco, grown in the Boonslick 
country, were sold in New York.^ Other sections that were known at 
an early date for the quality and quantity of their product were Ste. 
Genevieve^ and Perry counties.^ Loutre Island was also one of the 
famous producing sections, and its tobacco planters were among the 
most aristocratic citizens of the state. Its plantations were said to 
resemble those of the southern states in point of luxury .^ In 1840 
FrankUn, Cape Girardeau, Cole, and Cooper counties each produced in 
excess of 100,000 pounds. In 1850 FrankHn and Cooper counties alone 

' Eighth Ann. Rept., State Board of Agriculture, p. 410. 

'Handbook of Missouri (1881), p. 105. 

3 Beck, Gazetteer (1823), pp. 186, 228. s Beck, Gazetteer, p. 251. 

* Niks' Register, XXVI, 150. ^ Wetmore, Gazetteer, p. 144. 

7 Zimmermann, in Missouri Hist. Rev., XX, 40. 


remained in this class. In i860 Franklin, with 792,000 pounds, pro- 
duced ten times as much as the next Ozark county/ In 1866 tobacco 
still was considered the great money crop of Franklin County, and from 
one to three "barns" were raised on every average farm.^ The con- 
centration of this industry in Franklin County appears to have been 
due principally to an early immigration of tobacco planters, largely from 
Virginia. The tobacco grown in the Missouri and Mississippi River 
counties was the principal factor in making St. Louis a tobacco market 
and later a manufacturing center. Although tobacco has almost dis- 
appeared from the farms of Missouri, St. Louis is still one of the first 
tobacco centers of the United States. 

Tobacco, produced on the bottom lands, yielded a heavy or "ship- 
ping" lead, and on newly cleared uplands, especially on " dog-wood land," 
a lighter leaf of higher quality.^ On the upland both yield and quality 
decreased with each crop, and after two or three crops were grown the 
land usually was planted to corn and another tobacco patch was cleared. 
The decadence of the tobacco industry was due: (i) primarily to the 
lack, after a time, of newly cleared land; (2) as shipping facilities were 
provided, other lower-priced agricultural products became profitable; 
(3) most of the later immigrants, coming from Germany or the northern 
states, did not know how to raise tobacco, and many of the old tobacco 
planters moved away. 

At the outset cotton was produced in every section, from the margins 
of the southeastern lowlands to the Boonslick.^ Some cotton was grown 
in the Missouri River Border even after the Civil War.s In 1873 Cape 
Girardeau still shipped 2,500 bales. ^ On the whole, however, cotton 
belonged to the pioneer period and was produced chiefly for household 
use. The region in general is too far north for the commercial production 
of cotton, the crop being "sometimes destroyed by early frosts. "^ 
When railroad transportation supplied manufactured cloths cheaply, 
its production declined and after a time ceased, except in the extreme 
South. Hemp and flax were introduced into Missouri by planters 
from Kentucky. Both were grown by slave labor on the river-bottom 

' Census of 1840, 1850, i860. 

' Agric. Rept. of Missouri (1866), p. 251. ^ Muench, op. cit., p. 118. 

4 Darby, Emigrants' Guide (1818), p. 304; Beck, Gazetteer, p. 186. 

s First Ann. Agric. Rept. of Missouri, Appendix, p. 56. 

^Prospectus of Illinois, Missouri and Texas Railroad, p. 9. 

7 Beck, Gazetteer, p. 186; see also Wetmore, Gazetteer, pp. i44"4S- 


lands, especially in Boone County and farther west, where they consti- 
tuted large and profitable crops. The industry was ruined by the Civil 
War and by foreign competition/ These three textile fibers, once 
constituting some of the most important crops of the Ozark Border, are 
at present unknown in this region, except as garden curiosities. 

Among the early "agricultural" products maple sugar often is men- 
tioned. Sugar maples were very common in the bottoms. When the 
land was cleared for a farm, a grove or "camp" of these trees usually 
was allowed to remain. Not only were the household needs, said to 
average a hundred pounds a year per family ,' thus supplied, but a con- 
siderable surplus was exported. " Some families would make as much as 

I, GOO pounds per year This was exchanged at ten cents per 

pound for dry goods. "^ When southern sugar entered the local market, 
the industry decHned'' and the groves were largely cut out to make room 
for fields. 

Stock raising.— As long as a large part of the region was unoccupied, 
stock raising probably gave the largest returns with least expense and 
effort. In 1812 it was said that the cattle "in summer subsist on the 
grass, with which the country is covered; and in the winter they retire 
to the bottoms, where they find plenty of cane and rushes. "s The 
swine "subsist on the mast found in the woods; and hence both the 
cattle and swine keep fat most of the year. No hay is necessary, except 
for such cows and horses as are stabled, and plenty of this is always to 
be -obtained in the proper season from the prairies. The high grounds 
are seldom so thickly covered with wood as to prevent the growth of grass. 
They exhibit more the appearance of extensive meadows than of rude and 
gloomy forests. "<* The ease of raising stock has been described by 
Schoolcraft as follows: 

The farmer here encloses no meadows— cuts no hay. The luxuriant growth 
of grass in the woods affords ample range for his cattle and horses, and they are 
constantly kept fat. Hogs also are suffered to run at large, and in the fall 
are killed from the woods; I have seen no fatter pork than what has been killed 
in this way. There is, perhaps, no country in the world, where cattle and hogs 

can be raised with so Httle expense and trouble as here Horses are 

raised in considerable numbers by the inhabitants generally, and with little 

' De Bow, Industrial Resources, etc., of the SoiUhern and Western States, II, 60. 
* Duden, Reise nach den westlichen Staaten, p. 68. 

3 Broadhead, Repts. Geo!. Surv. of Missouri (1855-71), pp. 59-60. " Ibid. 
s Stoddard, Sketches of Louisiana, p. 229. * Ibid. 


labor. They subsist themselves in the woods, both summer and winter, 
nothing more being required than to look after them, to see that no beUs are 
lost, that they are duly salted, and that they do not go astray.^ 

In a new region, abounding in grass and water, the raising of stock 
was a matter of Arcadian simplicity at first and of considerable profit 
as well. The raising of cattle was most extensive in the northwestern 
counties of the Ozarks, where the most corn was grown,^ and in the south- 
western counties, which had the most free range, that is, the largest 
areas of unoccupied grasslands. Boonville as the principal river port 
for both sections became an important live-stock market and developed 
a meat-slaughtering industry. After i860 there was a gradual decline 
in the number of cattle kept, which has continued until recently. This 
was primarily the result of the continued decrease of the grazing area 
with increasing settlement. The beginning of the decline coincides with 
the opening of the first railroads. With the building of railroads grain 
could be marketed profitably, and it was no longer necessary to drive the 
products of the farm to a distant market in the form of stock. In the 
second place, the German immigrants, whose influence became dominant 
in the northern and eastern borders after 1850, have paid little attention 
to cattle raising until recently. 

Sheep were not kept in large numbers. The physical conditions of 
the country were suited to them, but they fell prey to wolves and dogs, 
and the wool of the unconfined sheep became so fouled as to be worth 
little.^ In this, as in other regions, sheep-raising without herding has 
not proved suited to pioneer conditions. 

Mule breeding in America has been developed most highly in central 
Missouri, especially in the river counties. The industry began early, the 
census reports from the first half of the nineteenth century showing the 
largest number of mules in these counties and in the vicinity of Spring- 
field. By the middle of the century the exportation of mules to the 
South, especially to the sugar plantations, had become a well-established 
and flourishing business. ^ Mule breeding in Missouri appears to have 
originated through the Santa Fe trade, which had its eastern termini on 
the lower Missouri River. One of the earlier Santa Fe trading parties 
returned to Old Franklin in 1823 with 400 jacks, jennets, and mules, an 
extraordinary importation for the time.^ This may have been the begin- 

' View of Lead Alines, pp. 34-35. 

' Oelshausen, pp. 163, 166; Third Ann. Agric. Rept. of Missouri, p. 321. 

3 Wetmore, Gazetteer, p. 71; Muench, Staat Missouri, p. 150. 

* Muench, op. cit., p. 149. s Niles^ Register, XXV, 230. 


ning of mule breeding in Missouri. At any rate, for many years not 
only the Santa Fe traders but most travelers to the west and southwest 
secured their animals from Missouri River points. Parties also were 
fitted out at Springfield. These expeditions, whenever possible, used 
the hardier mules in preference to horses, and thus created a brisk local 
demand, which resulted in extensive breeding of mules. Later, as the 
demand from this source decreased, that from the southern plantations 
increased, and, since the region had estabhshed itself substantially in 
the industry, it continued to supply the new market. The Boonslick 
country is probably still the first mule-raising region of the world. 

Lead mining. — The stimulus which lead mining derived from Ameri- 
can immigration was the result of the increased number of workers who 
became available, of the greater energy which they displayed, and of the 
more advanced views which they held." As a result there was a notable 
increase in the discovery of ore bodies, improvement in the methods 
employed, and enlarged production.^ 

The figures given by Winslow^ as the total production of lead for 
the state to the year i860 are shown below. The lead produced in 
Missouri between 1800 and 1859 was worth $16,318,000 and came 

I 720-1 799. 
I 830-1 849. 

18,000 tons 
25,300 tons 
19,100 tons 
73,400 tons 
51,100 tons 


almost entirely from the eastern and northern borders. During this 
period Washington County yielded $6,193,000, St. Francois $3,204,000, 
Madison (Mine La Motte) $2,028,000, and Jefferson $929,000. In the 
Missouri River Border, Franklin County with $1,648,000 was the most 
important producer, Moniteau ranking second with $108,000.4 

As long as mining was limited to the residual ore, secured by digging 
shallow pits, Washington County, with its large areas of red limestone 
basins, maintained its supremacy. The life of a given ' ' mine ' ' was short ; 
but the decrease at one mine was made good by new discoveries. Mine a 

' Schoolcraft, View of Lead Mines, p. 20. 

' The principal changes in method were (i) the introduction of the reverbatory 
furnace, (2) the sinking of shafts into bedrock, and (3) the manufacture of sheet lead 
and of shot from shot towers (Schoolcraft, op. cit., pp. 19, 138-39)- 

3 Winslow, Missotiri Geol. Surv., VII, especially p. 540. " Ibid. 


Breton, opened in 1796, was reported nearly abandoned in 181 1, but in 
that same year there were five other locaHties with operating mines in 
the county, each of which produced 100,000 to 600,000 pounds of lead.' 
After 1830 rich deposits were found in the northern border, in Franklin 
County, and later in Moniteau and Morgan counties.^ The develop- 
ment of shallow deposits continued at widely scattered places to the 
Civil War. In 1863 the first shafts were sunk in the disseminated lead 
deposits of the Bonne Terre field^ and inaugurated the modern period of 
lead mining in southeast Missouri.^ 

The number of workers fluctuated greatly. ^ In the twenties mining 
languished, as the flourishing condition of the Galena, Illinois, mines on 
the upper Mississippi caused a large part of the miners to withdraw from 
this region.^ As the miners were paid according to their output, a diminu- 
tion in production was attended by an exodus, which became speedy and 
unceremonious if a promising discovery at another place was announced. ^ 
The population therefore was extremely unstable, and the habits of the 
miners reflected their uncertain condition. "The digging itself is a 
species of gambling, and there are few miners who are not addicted to 
this practice."* The social consciousness of such a fluctuating popula- 
tion necessarily was slight, and lawlessness and violence in personal 
relations were common.^ In their working relations, however, the need 
of security early made itself felt in "traditionary laws, which have so 
many years governed the community of miners, that like the Stannary 
laws of Cornwall, they are become prescriptive rights. "'° 

The miners were recruited from four classes: (i) Many of the indige- 
nous French engaged by preference in this pursuit, and in fact continue to 
do so to this day. (2) Agriculturists of the mine region devoted part of 
their time to digging for lead," usually to the injury of their farms. It 
was said that increase of mining led invariably to a neglect of agriculture." 

' Brackenridge, Views of Louisiana, pp. 151-54. 

' Meek, Ann. Repts. Missouri Geol. Surv., II, 116; Missouri Bur. Geol. and Mines, 
Ser. 2, VII, 66. 

3 Second Ann. Rept., Trustees St. Joseph Lead Co., p. 9. 

4 Stevens, Missouri, the Center State, I, 49-50. 

5 Schoolcraft, op. cit., pp. 113-14- 

* Amer. State Papers, Public Lands, V, 347; De Bow, Industrial Resources, II, 63. 

^ Flint, History and Geography of the Mississippi Valley, p. 302. 

8 Ibid. » Schultz, Travels, II, 52-53. 

'" Schoolcraft, Travels, p. 287. ^^Ibid. 

" Schoolcraft, View of Lead Mines, p. 38. 


Miners were known to have earned thirty dollars a day for several 
weeks.' Farming offered no such prizes, and the farmer was level- 
headed indeed who was not tempted from his plow by such alluring, if 
temporary, gain. (3) "A large proportion of those formerly engaged 
in mining were persons of the most abandoned character, refugees from 
justice in the old States."^ (4) "A considerable proportion of these 
emigrants are indigent Europeans, who, having no capital to set up 
their trades .... have been directed to the mines. "^ 

As long as mining was prosecuted in primitive fashion there was 
little permanent settlement. The two principal exceptions are Potosi 
and Mine La Motte. The latter has been a village of some note for a 
long period, solely because of the extraordinary productivity of the mine 
at this place, which has yielded rich returns, under various systems of 
mining, almost continuously for nearly two hundred years. Potosi, 
the center of the Washington County mines, added to its mining inter- 
ests the manufacture of sheet lead and of shot,"* and also became the 
trade center for the basin of the rich Fredericktown soils in which it lies.^ 

As Ste. Genevieve was not the nearest river port for most of the later 
mines, and as many steep hills intervened, another outlet on the river 
was opened at Herculaneum.^ The road from Potosi to Herculaneum 
followed the easy grade of Joachim Valley, which was also a more 
direct line between the mines and the river. In 1819 Herculaneum was 
said to ship half the lead of the state,^ and Ste. Genevieve suffered con- 
siderably through its competition. Herculaneum possessed another 
advantage over its rival in its river bluffs, which were utilized as shot 
towers, the melted lead falling nearly 300 feet.^ For a time the village 
prospered and was one of the more important trading centers of the 
Mississippi River Border.' Later the small landing of Selma, just 
below Plattin Creek, also became an important shipping point." 

' Stoddard, Sketches of Louisiana, p. 395. 

2 Schoolcraft, View of Lead Mines, p. 39. ^ Schoolcraft, Travels, p. 287. 

•* Austin, in Amer. Slate Papers, Public Lands, I, 209. 

s Schoolcraft, View of Lead Mines, p. 48. 

^ Schoolcraft, Travels, p. 245. 

7 Schoolcraft, View of Lead Mines, p. 1 20. 

* Brackenridge, Views of Louisiana, p. 131; TLxier, Voyage, p. 76; Flint, Recol- 
lections, p. lOI. 

9 Schoolcraft, View of Lead Mines, p. 48; De Bow, Industrial Resources, II, 63. 

^"Amer. State Papers, Public Lands, IV, 558; Shumard, Ann. Repts. Missouri 
Geol. Stirv., II, 147. 


Iron mining.— Iron ore was known in the St. Francois region before 
the American period. Probably its first use was at the "shut-in" of 
Stout's Creek, near Ironton. Here a small furnace was built in 1815, 
which used ore from Shepard Mountain, wood from the adjacent hills, 
and made bar iron by water power.' Its product found ready local 
sale, but the difficulty of transportation prevented extensive production. 
There existed also an early prejudice that the ore was not suitable for 
smelting, and this had to be overcome before development on a large 
scale could be undertaken.^ 

Capital became interested in Iron Mountain in 1836, mining began 
in 1844 or 1845, and the first furnace was put in blast in 1846.^ Super- 
ficial explorations had been made of this ore body, and it was thought to 
be a mountain of nearly pure ore." Early skepticism gave place to 
wildest enthusiasm. In 1846 it was declared that Iron Mountain and 
Pilot Knob "have enough material in their bowels to supply the world 
for a century. "5 The original company of 1836 proposed to pay its 
investors $108.50 annually for every $100 invested.^ Pilot Knob was 
bought originally for $18,000; six acres, used as a town site, sold a few 
years later for $50,000. An offer of $3,000,000 was made for the Iron 
Mountain property, which was said to be worth $5 ,000,000,000 ! Accord- 
ing to the authority for this statement, it was a "national injustice, that 
three men should own a treasure nearly sufficient for a continent. "^ 

Limestone for flux could be had near by. The forested knobs sup- 
plied fuel for the blast. At first the ore was smelted at the mines, 
and at Valle(y) Forge in St. Francois County, which made iron blooms. 
This forge was on the direct road to the river, had both limestone and 
fuel, and was able therefore to have the ore brought to it.* The pig iron 
was hauled to Ste. Genevieve, the nearest river port, at one-fourth of a 

^Missouri Geol. Surv., II, 304. 

2 Litton, Ann. Repts. Missouri Geol. Surv., II, 75. 

3 Missouri Geol. Surv., II, 305. 

* See, for instance, Barker, History of All the Western States, p. 439. 
5 Hunt's Merchants' Magazine, XVI, 94. 

* Prospectus of Missouri Iron Company, 1837. 
7 Muench, Staat Missouri (1859), pp. 50-51. 

* "The forge was located near Farmington for the reason that wood was plenty in 
the vicinity. Fuel getting in the early days of iron making was a problem even more 
vexing than the transportation question. Vast quantities of charcoal were used in 
the furnaces. To keep up the supply the company bought tracts of land solely to 
acquire the timber on them" (Stevens, Missouri, the Center State, I, 196). 


cent a pound.' Even at this cost the industry was profitable, as the 
demand for iron was great, and the only competition was from Ohio and 
Tennessee furnaces, which were said to yield iron of inferior quality.^ 
The iron industry again restored to some extent the fortunes of Ste. 
Genevieve, which did a thriving business at shipping Missouri pig iron 
to points on the Mississippi and Ohio rivers.^ 

The remote location of the mines presently made improved trans- 
portation facilities a necessity. The first improvement was the construc- 
tion of the Ste. Genevieve, Iron Mountain, and Pilot Knob Plank Road 
in 1 853. 4 It was estimated that by the increased loads which could be 
hauled this road would reduce the cost of a ton of iron, delivered at 
Ste. Genevieve, from $18.72 to $16. oc^ Before the completion of the 
plank road steps were taken to build a railroad from St. Louis to the 
iron and lead region. As early as 1837 "the importance of bringing, 
with cheap transportation to St. Louis, the iron from the neighborhood 
of Iron Moimtain, as the true foundation for future and permanent 
growth of St. Louis," had been recognized.^ A charter was granted to 
the St. Louis and Iron Mountain Railroad in 1851, "on condition that 
the road be located within five miles of Potosi, the center of the lead 
diggings. "7 St. Louis at that time is said to have sent out $1,500,000 
annually to pay for iron products sold there, in addition to the cost of 
the pig metal used locally. By constructing this road it was hoped that 
the city would develop its own foundries, rolling mills, and nail factories, 
which would drive out articles manufactured elsewhere.* The greatest 
of St. Louis' expectations, in 1854, was the manufacture of iron.' 
Accordingly the support of St. Louis was assured to the railroad project 
from the outset. The road was completed as far as Pilot Knob in iSsS.'" 

By 1865 there had been built as a result of the railroad, in addition 
to the six furnaces and bloomeries at the mines, one at Irondale, and one 
at Carondelet, adjoining St. Louis." Before 1850 the total production 

' Hunt's Merchants' Mag., XVI, 95. 

^ Engineer's Rept., Second Ann. Rept. Board of Directors of the St. Louis and Iron 
Mountain Railroad, p. 25. 

3 Western Journal and Civilian, III, 242. 

4 Ibid., X, 424. 5 Ihid., VIII, 139. 

^ Second Ann. Rept. Board of Directors of the St. Louis and Iron Mountain Railroad, 
p. 14. 

7 Ihid. 9 Stevens, Missouri, the Center State, I, 200. 

* Ibid., pp. 22-23. '" Missouri Geol. Surv., II, 306. 

" Hunt's Merchants' Mag., LIII, 335. 


of iron ore in Missouri had been about 100,000 tons. In the following 
decade, during which the railroad was opened, the first large develop- 
ment of the Iron Mountain district took place, and the production for 
the decade was 310,000 tons. In the sixties the tonnage doubled, 
amounting to 625,000, and in the year 1870 316,000 tons were produced 
in the state.' Of the total output of the state to this date the Iron 
Mountain district yielded more than nine-tenths. Two flourishing 
towns sprang up. Iron Mountain and Pilot Knob. The people of the 
neighborhood flocked in to work in the iron mines, even as they had left 
their farms in lead-mining booms. ^ Immigrants from abroad were also 
attracted, especially the English and Germans. In Iron Mountain 
there were as many as a thousand operatives at a time. The new 
railroad diverted the shipping business from Ste. Genevieve to St. Louis, 
which also developed an important iron industry. By the middle of 
the century the furnaces at the mines were beginning to feel the exhaus- 
tion of wood fuel and the lack of coal.^ St. Louis therefore, which had 
coal near at hand, received larger and larger shipments of ore and corre- 
spondingly smaller shipments of pig iron, the proportion in 1875 being 
three to one.^ As late as 1880 an orator, eulogizing St. Louis, named it 
"the city of the Iron Crown. "^ 

Production averaged somewhat less than 300,000 tons of ore per 
year until 1887,^ after which there was a rapid decrease due to the mining 
of the cheap ores of the Lake Superior district and to the partial exhaus- 
tion of local deposits. 

Other industries. — Manufactures other than those of mineral products 
were few, small, and supplied pioneer needs, or produced a compact 
article for export. Grist mills were one of the earlier necessities of 
pioneer communities. They were operated usually by water power. It 
was a matter of little difficulty to build a log or masonry dam across the 
smaller creeks and so to impound enough water to operate a mill wheel. ^ 
Bryan, of the Femme Osage Colony, had erected such a water mill by 
1801.^ In 1823 there were nine grist mills in Cape Girardeau County, 
which ground, in that year, 61,675 bushels of grain; at the same time 
mills in Jefferson County used 30,000 bushels ; there were also five mills 

' Winslow, Missouri Geol. Surv., II, 324. 

^Hunt's Merchants' Mag., XVI, 94. ^ Muench, Staat Missouri, p. 49. 

■* Allen, Missouri, a Discourse at the Centennial Exposition, p. 20. 

5 Stevens, Missouri, the Center State, p. 201. ^ Winslow, loc. cit. 

''Hist, of Franklin and JeJ'erson Counties, p. 220. 

* Stevens, op. cit., p. 115. 


in Ste. Genevieve County and two in Madison.' In 1827 Cooper County 
had ten mills. ^ Many mills did custom carding and supplied the house- 
wife with rolls for her spinning wheel.^ These water mills also sawed 
timber for local use. 

Distilling on a commercial scale was introduced into the region by 
Americans, who had found it the only feasible means of marketing 
grain from the frontier. A considerable part of the whiskey was sold 
at St. Louis for the Indian trade.4 Israel Dodge built a still near Ste. 
Genevieve in 1795.^ Another was erected between Plattin and Joachim 
creeks in 1801.^ In 1823 Cape Girardeau had thirty-one stills produ- 
cing 17,800 gallons of distilled spirits; Jefferson County made 29,000 
gallons; Madison 3,800; and Ste. Genevieve converted $900 worth of 
grain into whiskey worth $11,912.7 The census of 1840 listed thirty- 
five stills in Cape Girardeau County, eight in Cooper, eight in Madison, 
seven in Cole, and smaller numbers in the other counties. 

A number of other industries converted bulky products of the 
frontier into articles sufficiently valuable to bear cost of transportation 
to distant markets. Hides and oak bark supplied the requisites for the 
tanning of leather. In 1823 Cape Girardeau County had four tanyards,^ 
while Cooper County had seven in 1827.' According to the census of 
1840, there were in Cape Girardeau County twelve, in Cole, Franklin, 
and Perry each four, in St. Francois five, and in Washington County 
three, tanyards. Hemp was made into tow cloth and ropes,'° used largely 
in river shipping, at rope walks in Ste. Genevieve and Franklin." A 
tobacco factory was organized at Franklin in 182 1." 


This region produced an unusually large number of the necessities 
of pioneer life: flour, meal, meat, lard, sugar, and salt for the table, wool, 

' Digest of Accounts of Manufacturing Establishments (Washington, D.C., 1823). 
^ Tax list in Missouri Hist. Soc. MSS. 

3 Third Ann. Agric. Rept. of Missouri, p. 320. 

4 Stoddard, Sketches of Louisiana, p. 228. 

s Record Books, Secretary of State, Survey No. 2o6f. 

' Houck, Hist, of Missouri, II, 258. 

'^Digest of Accounts of Manufacturing Establishments. 

8 Ibid. 

' Tax list in Missouri Hist. Soc. MSS. 

"Schoolcraft, View of Lead Mines, p. 172. 

"Houck, 0/). c//., Ill, 187. ^^Ibid. 


cotton, and flax for cloth, leather for shoes and harness, wood for many 
purposes, iron for the blacksmith's needs, and lead and gunpowder for 
hunting. The articles therefore which had to be imported were few. 
These were principally manufactured goods, such as cutlery, nails, 
tools, plow irons, glassware, drugs, dry goods, and some groceries.^ 
Lead, salt, iron, whiskey, flour and grain, tobacco, live stock, and animal 
products were the principal articles of export.^ For all of these there 
was satisfactory demand ordinarily. These articles also possessed the 
merit of being marketable under the tedious and careless methods of 
transportation then in use. The city of St. Louis, the lead mines,^ 
and, later, the iron mines, absorbed part of the surplus, especially of 
agricultural products. The greatest commercial asset of the region was 
its water routes, which provided transportation in all four directions of 
the compass. On the whole, therefore, the commercial situation was 

Trade was carried on at first chiefly by the producers, who took their 
surplus to market and returned with goods in exchange. "^ Gradually 
methods changed with the development of a class of professional 

Before the introduction of steam, navigation was principally by 
boats of three types: canoe, flatboat, and keelboat. Canoes or piroques 
were small, narrow boats, made in various ways, and were used especially 
on the smaller streams. Perhaps the crudest type was the hollow syca- 
more log, its ends chinked up with clay, used by Boone in shipping salt 
down the Missouri.s Flatboats, built of heavy sawed planks, were 
employed as in other parts of the Mississippi Valley to convey goods 
downstream,^ usually to New Orleans, where both cargo and craft were 
sold. Keelboats were superior to the other types, for they were often 
of larger capacity and could be propelled upstream.^ Because of their 
unwieldy nature and their weak motive power all these craft were 

■ Schoolcraft, op. ciL, pp. 44-45. 

* Brackenridge, Views of Louisiana, p. 156; Stoddard, Sketches of Louisiana, 
p. 214; Hist, of Franklin and Jefferson Counties, p. 220; Darby, Emigrants' Guide, 
p. 142; View of the U.S.A. (London, 1820), p. 668. 

^ Schoolcraft, op. cit., p. 38; Wetmore, Gazetteer, p. 168. 

■* Stoddard, op. cit., p. 230. 

s Cooper, in Campbell, Gazetteer, p. 242. 

* Niles' Register, XXI, 336. 

7 Hall, The West, Its Commerce and Navigation, pp. 111-14. 


difficult to handle in narrow, swift, or sinuous parts of the river 

The first steamboat to ascend the Mississippi above the mouth of 
the Ohio arrived at St. Louis in 1817.^ The swift current of the Missouri 
and its more difficult channel made it appear questionable whether that 
stream could be navigated by steam. ^ The question was answered in 
1819, when the first steamboat landed at Franklin.^ On the Mississippi 
steam navigation was established securely within a brief period.^ On the 
Missouri the development of steamboating was slower, due to the char- 
acter of the stream and the stage of development of the region. On both 
streams, but more especially on the Missouri, cheaply constructed rafts 
and flatboats, floating downstream, laden with produce, were familiar 
sights for years after steam navigation was introduced.^ Parker, in 1 83 5 , 
reported passing hundreds of them.^ In that year there were two boats 
making regular trips between St. Louis and Frankhn on the Missouri.^ 
In 1836 there were 140 arrivals of steamboats at Rocheport, Boone 
County, by September 8.' In 1854 more than 300 steamers a year were 
said to have landed at Boonville, which by this time had become the 
most important river port above St. Louis. ^^ 

The introduction of the steamboat increased the efficiency of the 
larger water routes greatly and thereby improved economic conditions 
along them, (i) The cost of transportation was reasonable. In 1831 
freight from St. Louis to New Orleans was 37I cents per one hundred 
pounds, return rate, 62^ cents; from Franklin to St. Louis, 25 cents, 

' Several rocky narrows on the Mississippi were feared especially by early boat- 
men, notably those of Grand Tower above Cape Girardeau (Hall, Statistics of the West, 
pp. 48-49; Schultz, Travels, II, 81-85; Flagg, in Early Western Travels, XXVI, 89; 
also note by editor on same page). This "is a noble and massive pyramid of rock, 
rising perpendicularly out of the bed of the river, in which it forms an island. Around 
it the river foams and boils, throwing from its base a kind of spiral current across the 
river. Opposite 'the Tower' is another bold bluff, on the Illinois shore, called the 
'Devil's Oven.' This, too, throws off another sweeping current, and between these 
currents the passage is difficult, and at some stages of the water, dangerous" (FHnt, 
Recollections, p. 95). The (Grand) Chain of Rocks at Commerce was another danger- 
ous obstruction (Schultz, Travels, II, 82, 85). 

2 Carr, Missouri, p. 132. ^ Missouri Hist. Rev., I, 310. 

3 Houck, Hist, of Missouri, III, 198. s Schoolcraft, View of Lead Mines, p. 44. 
^ Baudissin, Der Ansiedler im Missouri Staate, p. 26. 

7 Trip to the West and Texas, p. 93. » Wetmore, Gazetteer, p. 44. 

* Bromme, Missouri, p. 39. " Oelshausen, Staat Missouri, p. 163. 


return, 75 cents. ^ Especially the competition of the flatboat reduced 
the downstream freight rates. Cabin passage from St. Louis to New 
Orleans in 1831 was $20.00; return, $25.00. Deck passage was only 
I5.00, but involved the obligation of carrying wood on board. The 
rates varied with the season, the depth of the water, and with other 
conditions,^ and they usually were less on the Mississippi than on the 
Missouri because of greater competition on the former. (2) A regular 
shipping business was created, which freed the shipper from the task of 
taking his own goods to market, as had been necessary previously in most 
cases. (3) By providing a means of passenger transportation the steam- 
boat increased immigration. (4) Prices improved, partly because of the 
increased demands of immigrants, partly because of the reduced cost 
of marketing.^ (5) As a result of the latter, there was an increase not only 
in the volume of trade but in the number of commodities which were 
produced. Especially as St. Louis developed into an important market 
products of the most varied sort were shipped into it from the surround- 
ing region.'' (6) River landings became flourishing centers of trade. 
On the Mississippi the growth of Cape Girardeau was stimulated, ^ and 
on the Missouri that of Boonville, Franklin, and Jefferson City. Steam- 
boat landings which had a large tributary territory soon developed into 
towns of importance, such as Washington and New Haven in Franklin 
County. (7) A considerable number of people, living along the rivers, 
supported themselves by supplying the steamboats with fresh provisions 
and with cordwood.^ (8) The steamboat formed a link in the Santa Fe 
trade. 7 

During the period in which trafBc was by river New Orleans was the 
great market of the region. Most bulky commodities, such as groceries, 
were shipped by this port.* The next largest trade was with the East by 
way of the Ohio. Lead and salt especially were exported over this route.' 
Because of the limited market which New Orleans afforded and the 
difficulty and expense of shipping bulky goods across the Appalachian 
Mountains, a circular trade developed. According to Schoolcraft, " lead 
is taken down the Mississippi in boats to New Orleans, and there either 

' Baudissin, loc. cit. ^ Ibid. 

3 James, in Early Western Travels, XIV, 148; Bek, German Setllement Soc, 
pp. 68-69. 

'^ Ann. Rev. Comm. St. Louis (1854), p. 4.' 

s Flagg, in Early Western Travels, XXVI, 87; Wetmore, Gazetteer, p. 51. 

* Baudissin, op. cit., p. 30. * Schoolcraft, op. cit., p. 44. 

' See p. 134. 9 Stoddard, Sketches of Louisiana, p. 230. 


sold, or shipped to Philadelphia or New York. The dry goods with which 
this country is supplied are principally purchased at Philadelphia, and 
waggoned across the Alleghany Mountains to Pittsburgh, and thence 
taken down the Ohio and up the Mississippi in boats. "^ Another account 
states that "the merchants at that early date made all their purchases of 
dry goods in Philadelphia and of groceries in New Orleans. They went 
to Philadelphia once or twice a year, proceeding up the Ohio by way of 
Pittsburgh, thence by stage on the National Road to destination. Their 
purchases were then shipped around to New Orleans and reforwarded 
by boat up the Mississippi River. "^ 

Land travel consisted largely of short wagon hauls from interior 
points to river ports. The roads from the lead mines to the river were 
established in this way.^ Little care was expended on roads. They 
were located along high ground if possible to secure good drainage. The 
construction of a road consisted merely in the felling of enough trees to 
enable the passage of a wagon, or in the blazing of a trail, 'i and in general 
it was found cheaper to make a new road than to repair an old one.^ 
Bridges were almost unknown, although the region contains many 
streams.^ After 1850 plank roads were constructed along a few lines 
of heavy travel. The difficulty of ascending the Missouri led to the 
opening of an important road between St. Louis and the Boonslick, 
to the north of the broken country along the Missouri. This is now the 
great cross-state highway, still known as the "Boonslick Road." 
Another important form of land traffic, which involved considerable 
distances, was the driving of large droves of mules, horses, and other 
live stock to distant markets, especially to the Red River and other 
southern points.^ 

The most famous overland trade of the state was that with Santa 
Fe, which later contributed greatly to the growth of the cities on the 
Missouri-Kansas border.* This trade had its origin in Franklin, where 
the first important expedition was assembled in 1822' by a company from 
the Boonslick. Their first venture showed the feasibility of the route; 
they found the country to the southwest open and level and abounding 

' Schoolcraft, loc. cit. ' Souvenir of Ste. Genevieve. 

3 See p. 84; Hist, of Franklin and Jeferson Counties, p. 394. 

* Baudissin, op. cit., p. 31. ' Schoolcraft, Travels, p. 238. 

^ Schoolcraft, View of Lead Mines, p. 42; Houck, Hist, of Missouri, I, 371, 
' Schoolcraft, View of Lead Mines, p. 35. 

* See Missouri Hist. Rev., VI, i, and Missouri Hist. Coll., II, No. 6. 
» Wetmore, Gazetteer, p. 86. 


in the grass necessary to sustain their teams.' Because of the strong 
contrast in cHmate, the difference in mineral resources, and the remote- 
ness of Sante Fe from manufacturing districts, the trade was prosecuted 
successfully from the outset. Santa Fe supplied the Missouri country 
with specie, mules, and skins,^ and received in return in the main manu- 
factured articles, which were brought up the river from St. Louis. 
Whiskey, it is averred, was an important item; it was bought from 
Missouri distilleries at 40 cents a gallon, diluted with an equal volume of 
water, and sold in Taos for three dollars.^ Both Franklin and Boonville 
soon were engaged largely in this traffic. These towns lay so far west 
that routes from there to the southwest avoided the rugged hill sections 
of the Ozarks. Their situation on the extremity of a bend to the south- 
west of the Missouri River made them two of the nearer river ports to the 
Santa Fe country. 

As time passed roads and rivers inevitably became insufficient 
for the needs of the growing region. Canals were out of the question 
for most parts of the Ozarks because of topographic conditions. Spo- 
radic efforts were made to improve the smaller rivers, so as to render them 
more useful.'' Adequate improvement of transportation conditions, 
however, waited on the construction of railroads. 

Railroads were built parallel to the Missouri and Mississippi rivers 
almost simultaneously. In contrast to most early railroads, local 
needs were not the determining factor in the construction of the Missouri 
Pacific Railroad. The road was planned as a great trunk line to con- 
nect the Far West with the Mississippi Valley. In 1849 a bill was 
introduced into the United States Senate "to provide for the location 
and construction of a Central National Road from the Pacific Ocean to 
the Mississippi. "s St. Louis was then the first gateway of the West 
because of its position at the mouth of the Missouri River, and was 
chosen as the eastern terminus of the road. From here it was built 
along the flood plain of the Missouri River, reaching Jefferson City in 
1856.^ Beyond Jefferson City, because of the changed direction of the 
river and the lower elevation of the upland, the railroad in pursuance of 
its westerly course left the valley. As the Missouri Pacific Railroad 

^ Niks' Register, XXIIl, 177. 

'Ibid., XXV, 230; XXVIII, 356; XXIX, 100, 127-28. 

3 Turley, in Stevens, op. cit., I, 125. 

4 Western Journal and Civilian, I, 52; IV, 178-82. 

5 Geol. Rept. of the Southwest Branch of the Pacific Railroad, p. iii. 
* Ibid., p. XV. 


passed through what was then the best-developed part of the state, its 
completion was not followed by large-scale immigration nor radical 
economic changes. It traversed a fairly wealthy section in the direc- 
tion in which the country was developing and in which there was most 
traffic. It therefore enjoyed a large business from the outset and soon 
supplanted the Missouri River as the leading artery of commerce across 
the state. 

The Iron Mountain Railroad, begun in 1853' and opened to De Soto 
in 1857,^ was built for two principal reasons: (i) As suggested by its 
name, to be a "means of bringing into active and extensive usefulness 
the ores of the Iron Mountain and Pilot Knob";^ (2) to establish rail 
connections " south to some point on the Mississippi below the influence 
of low water in summer, or the effect of ice in winter. ""• Between St. 
Louis and Helena, Arkansas, it was claimed, "navigation in summer is 
sometimes embarrassed by low water and sandbars; and in the winter- 
time, it is frequently obstructed by floating ice."s It also was argued 
that this route would enable St. Louis to establish trade relations with 
Europe by way of the Gulf more advantageously than through the Atlan- 
tic ports.*" (3) Another reason is suggested by the requirement of the 
charter that it be so located as to serve the lead-mining region of Potosi. 
To reach the iron and lead deposits a difficult route through the crystal- 
line knobs was taken, which would not have been necessary otherwise.^ 
Access to the St. Francois region was secured by ascending Joachim Creek 
for almost its entire length. The road today carries neither iron nor 
lead in important amounts, but it still follows the route imposed by 
these resources of a past day. The road was completed first to Pilot 
Knob, with a branch to Potosi. Its principal freight consisted of metals 
and metallic ores, in the order given in the table (p. 136). Lumber also 
was carried to a considerable extent, but as the road passed through 
a very poor agricultural area, except for the basins of Fredericktown 
soils, the shipments of farm products were small. 

In part because of heavy operating expenses through the hilly region, 
the limited demand for the few commodities produced in its territory, 

' Western Journal and Civilian, X, 424. 

* Fifth Ann. Kept., Board of Directors of the St. Louis and Iron Mountain Railroad, 
P- 5- 

3 Western Journal and Civilian, VII, 296. 

4 Fifth Ann. Rept., Board of Directors, p. 14. 
s Waterhouse, Resources of Missouri, p. 63. 

* Western Journal and Civilian, VII, 294-95. ' Ibid., VIII, 408-22. 


and the fact that the iron deposits did not equal the expectations that 
had been held of them, the Iron Mountain Railroad was unable to meet its 
expenses so long as its terminus was at Pilot Knob. It therefore became 
a necessity to extend it south into more productive territory.' Several 
places competed for the terminus of the extension, chiefly Belmont, 
Missouri, Memphis, Tennessee, and Helena, Arkansas. A memorial 
from the citizens of Memphis argued that " Memphis is at the head of 
perpetual navigation on the Mississippi. There the river has never been 
obstructed within the memory of any living soul. It always is navigable 
for the largest class of steamers. At Columbus [opposite Belmont], 
however, such an event is not a phenomenon. The river has been gorged 
with ice for days together."^ Belmont, however, across the river from 
the northern terminus of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad,^ was chosen 


Pounds in 1874 

Pounds in 1875 

Pounds in 1876 

Iron ore 

Pig and bloom iron .... 
Lead, zinc, and iron ore. 













* Summarized from directors' reports. 

ultimately in 1867 because it was the shortest line which would connect 
with a channel supposedly navigable the year around, as well as with a 
railroad to the South. The interest of St. Louis was enlisted by the 
argument that the new Illinois Central Railroad was bringing Chicago 
as close to Cairo as St. Louis then was by the water route. The remedy, 
it was pointed out, would be found in the construction of the Belmont 
branch.4 The line was built in 1868, beginning at the place where Bis- 
marck was laid out in that year.s The road never realized the expecta- 
tions of its promoters, as: (i) its terminus was an obscure river town; 
(2) it was necessary to ferry across the river all goods intended for further 
rail transportation; (3) it connected with an independent railroad sys- 
tem, which soon extended its terminus to St. Louis; (4) the shortness 
of the haul between St. Louis and Belmont made it unprofitable gener- 

^ Seventh Ann. Kept., Board of Directors, p. 5. 

^ Ihid., p. 14. 3 Waterhouse, op. cit., p. 53. 

* Bucklin, Reconnaissance of a Route for the St. Louis and Columbus Railroad. 

5 Hist, of Southeastern Missouri, p. 446. 


ally for commodities shipped by river to break bulk there. The road 
affected Cape Girardeau adversely by cutting off most of its hinterland. 

A few years later the main line of the Iron Mountain Railroad was 
extended south from Pilot Knob down the Black River Valley, and so 
into Arkansas and the Southwest, and became one of the more important 
trunk lines entering St. Louis. As a result of this extension Poplar 
Bluff became important, and lesser centers, such as Piedmont, Ironton, 
and Williams ville, developed. 

Because of the accessibility of these border regions from the Missis- 
sippi and Missouri rivers, railroad construction stimulated rather than 
revolutionized development. It aided especially the development of 
crop growing at the expense of stock farming, the estabhshment of a 
arge-scale lead industry, and the rapid exploitation of timber resources. 




The western border of the Ozarks, although more favored in 
resources, was settled many years later than the eastern and northern 
borders. The reasons were: (i) The region lies two hundred miles 
west of the Mississippi Valley, and it therefore had to wait until emi- 
gration had moved well beyond this river. (2) It was accessible by no 
large streams, the only navigable ones being the Osage, White, and 
Neosho. All of these are small and connect with the Mississippi by 
very circuitous routes. (3) To the east is the rough Ozark hill country, 
which was a barrier to direct immigration. (4) The region was mostly 
prairie and hence was not considered desirable, nor was it generally 
suited to early settlement. (5) Its great mineral wealth was not known 
until after the middle of the nineteenth century. 

The earlier settlements were on the headwaters of the White River. 
The first permanent location on record was at Delaware town, on 
the James fork of White River in Christian County, seven miles east of 
Billings. Here a small community was formed in 1822 by a number of 
families which had "left their homes in Ohio, traveling in a keel boat 
down the Muskingum, Ohio, and Mississippi rivers, to the mouth of the 
Arkansas, thence ascending that river, the White River and James 
Fork."^ Their line of approach is a fair example of the devious routes 
by which settlers reached the region. The first settler in Newton 
County likewise came from the South, probably by the Neosho River, 
having started from Tennessee and followed the Arkansas River up- 
stream.^ The southern margin of the Springfield Plain received the 
earliest settlers because (i) the White and Neosho River country had an 
excellent reputation for game. Thus the "country of the Six Bulls" 
(corrupted from boils, or springs) was known in Tennessee about 1820 
as a famous hunting-ground.^ (2) At some seasons the navigation of the 
White and of the Neosho was not a difficult matter. (3) The Arkansas 
Valley was settled at an early date and from it settlements extended up 

^ Campbell, Gazetteer, p. 137. 

2 Hist, of Newton and Lawrence Counties, p. 218. ^ IMd., p. 197. 



its tributaries. The White River Valley afforded splendid sites for home- 
steads. Due to the form and size of the valley these were not numerous, 
however, and so a thin chain of settlement extended upstream rapidly. 
The southern margin of the Springfield Plain was most accessible from 
Tennessee, which was the source of the great majority of the early immi- 

Another early route into this region followed the even crest of several 
long divides across the Ozarks. This formed a continuous upland trail, 
except at the crossing of the Gasconade.^ Later it became an important 
highway from St. Louis to Rolla, Lebanon, Marshfield, Springfield, 
Mount Vernon, and Neosho," and still later it was followed closely by the 
St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad. A third line of immigration, 
used more largely than the last, skirted the northwestern margin of the 
Ozark hill country and used either the Osage River or overland trails from 
Jefferson City and Boonville. The first land travel in the northern sec- 
tion of the Springfield Plain was around the Osage-Gasconade hill belt 
by the Missionary Trail from Jefferson City to an Indian mission at 
Harmony in Bates County, estabHshed in 182 1.^ 

The Osage River had been used by French traders at an early, un- 
known date, and subsequently by American hunters. Beginning about 
1830 it became an artery of immigration. By 1837 keelboats of forty 
tons' burden had been taken up the Osage well beyond the limits of the 
Springfield Plain.^ Warsaw is the oldest and was long the largest town 
on the river. It developed from Bledsoe's Ferry, established in 1831,5 
and was long second in importance only to Springfield among the com- 
munities of southwest Missouri. The town was ordinarily at the head 
of navigation for steamboats, and here as well all land travel to and 
from the Missouri River crossed the Osage. The roads from Boonville 
to Fort Smith, Arkansas, and from Jefferson City to Bolivar and Spring- 
field ran southwest from the Missouri River so as to avoid the rough 
Osage-Gasconade hills, and crossed the river at this point.^ Warsaw 
thus became a distributing point, at first for the immigration bound for 
the northern section of the Springfield Plain and later for the trade of 
this region. 

' Ihid., pp. 218-19. 

= Broadhead, Missouri Hist. Rev., VIII, 91. 

3 Campbell, Gazetteer, p. 389; Parker, Missouri as It Is, p. 184. 

■» Wetmore, Gazetteer, p. 40. 

s Encyclopedia of the History of Missouri: Benton County. 

* Broadhead, loc. cit.; Wetmore, loc. cit. 


The earlier settlements, as in most other prairie regions, were located 
in valleys at the edge of the timber/ One of the early settlers thus 
expressed the condition which determined the choice of a location: 
"No man in those days would settle in this country unless he had a 
spring of running water. The next thing of importance to him and for 
which he sought was timber, and coming from a woodland country in 
Tennessee and North Carolina, where they didn't know how to make a 
field unless they hewed it out of the forest, they would go down on a 
spring branch and clear three or four acres for a field, which would 
cost them more labor than it would have to build a forty-acre field in a 
prairie."^ As late as 1839 the following opinion was expressed by an 
intelligent traveler : " The land is cultivable only along the water courses. 
The farther one penetrates westward, the more arid the soil becomes, 
and soon the lands which produce trees, .... alone are suited to agri- 
culture: the finer the forests are, the richer is the ground; but in the 
prairie, cultivation is no longer possible."^ 

Springfield, settled in 1822-23, became the most flourishing town on 
the western border." It was located on the margin of Kickapoo Prairie, 
one of the finest and largest bodies of farm land in the Ozarks, and con- 
trolled the trade of this prairie. The site of the village was determined 
by an excellent spring and power site. Here also the roads from Warsaw 
and St. Louis crossed, the former skirting the western margin of the dis- 
sected country, the course of the latter determined by watersheds, both 
meeting at Springfield because of topographic conditions. 


The pioneer stock of the Springfield Plain was much like that of the 
other border sections. In the southern part of the region, previous to 
the development of mining, Tennesseeans were strongly preponderant.^ 
In 1888 a biography of settlers of Newton County listed forty-eight 
natives of Tennessee, Kentucky being the second state, with twenty-two.^ 
This was also the only part of Missouri in which natives of Arkansas 

'Hubble, Personal Reminiscences of Springfield, p. 25; Encyc. of the Hist, of 
Missouri: Barry County; Campbell, Gazetteer: Cedar, Christian, Dade counties. 

* Hubble, op. cit., p. 23. 

^ Tixier, Voyage, p. 88. -• Hubble, op. cit., p. 7. 

5 Wetmore, Gazetteer, p. 76; Hubble, op. cit., pp. 6, 7, 11, 14, 19; Encyc. of the 
Hist, of Missouri: Lawrence County. 

^ Hist, of Newton and Lawrence Counties. 


were met with to any extent.^ The nativity of the people of the southern 
section was influenced by the White and Neosho rivers as dominant 
routes of immigration. 


The pioneers were for the most part farmers, who distinguished them- 
selves from their contemporaries of the Missouri and Mississippi borders 
by greater attention to stock raising.^ An emigrant's guide of 1849 
recommended the region ''only to those who wish to raise cattle on a 
large scale."'' Cattle and corn were the principal products of this 
region, which as early as 1832 was said to export the meat of thousands 
of cattle annually. 4 By 1850 Greene County had more cattle and more 
hogs than any other Ozark county and ranked second in sheep. The 
census of that year shows that more cattle were kept in this section of 
Missouri than in any other in proportion to the acreage of improved 
land. The importance of the stock industry was due chiefly (i) to the 
distance to market, the lack of transportation facilities, and the fact 
that stock could transport itself. Cattle were driven from Lawrence 
County, for example, not only to St. Louis, but even to New Orleans. s 
(2) Animal products formed a stable and concentrated article of export, 
for which there was demand, especially in the southern markets, and they 
could bear the cost of long wagon hauls and boat transportation under 
the inexpensive method of stock raising then practiced. Salt meats, 
cured hides, tallow, and lard figure prominently in the early exports.^ 
In 1854 the exports of Warsaw were: bacon, 1 1,994 pes. ; hams, 204 cks. ; 
shoulders, 159 cks.; lard, 630 bbls. ; pork, 200 bbls. ; 150 hides; leather, 
30 rolls; wheat, 5,550 bu. ; deerskins, 144 bales; 2,230 furs; beeswax, 
;^^ bbls.'' (3) As long as settlements were confined to the margin of the 
prairies every farmer had, almost at his back door, excellent and abun- 
dant pasturage. (4) Moderate winter temperatures and light snowfall 
made it unnecessary to house stock. (5) The grass-growing clay soils 
were not immediately available for cultivation, because the first settlers 

' Biographical lists in Hist, of Newton and Lawrence Counties; Encyc. of the Hist, 
of Missouri: Dade County. 

' Compendium of the sixth census. 

3 Schmolder, Wegweiser fiir Auswanderer, p. 96. 

^ Oelshausen, Staat Missouri, pp. 167, 168, 169, 170; Baird, View of Valley of 
Mississippi, p. 240. 

s First Ann. Agric. Kept, of Missouri, App., p. 86. 

^ Baird, loc. cit. ^ Ann. Rev. Comm. St. Louis (1854), p. 52. 


did not possess the necessary equipment for cultivating them. (6) Corn, 
abundantly produced by the rich soil, was used to best advantage in the 
feeding of stock. 

As in the other sections of the highland, corn was by far the most 
important crop. Greene County tripled its production of corn between 
1840 and 1850, and in the latter year led all Ozark counties. The Spring- 
field soil quickly showed its adaptation to corn culture. Whatever 
prejudice against prairies existed at the outset was dispelled quickly by 
the magnificent crops of this grain which they grew. "Whoever has 
seen Kickapoo and Grand Prairies in their pride and the crops which the 
farmers grew upon them will not doubt that here it is good to live."^ 
Crops were on the whole less diversified than in the other border sections. 
Wheat was not grown extensively in early years because adequate 
markets for it were lacking. Tobacco was not an important crop, 
probably because of the lack of virgin woodland soil. The region 
was too remote to attract wealthy planters and therefore the culture 
of hemp and flax was not developed largely. 

Mills were erected under advantageous conditions, as there were 
many streams of moderate size, of steady flow, and of vigorous current, 
due to the number of large springs and the elevation of the region. The 
first grist mills probably were built at the beginning of the decade from 
1830 to 1840.^ By 1840 there were more than a score of grist mills and 
a number of saw mills,^ especially in the pine forests^ on the headwaters 
of White River.s By this time also a few tanneries had been established, 
and five counties had sixteen distilleries.^ 

The greater part of the Springfield Plain had the Missouri River as 
its outlet, chiefly through the port of Boonville. This town, now an 
ordinary county seat, then controlled the trade even of far southern 
Lawrence County.'' Its former period of large river commerce was due 
to the fact that it was the nearest river port, with good roads, for all 
southwest Missouri, and even for a portion of Arkansas and the Cherokee 
Nation.^ The Osage River penetrated farthest into the region and was of 
some commercial importance to it.' In 1859, 8,000 tons of freight were 

' Muench, Staat Missouri (1859), p. 212. 

^ Hubble, Personal Reminiscences, p. 8; Encyc. of the Hist, of Missouri: Chris- 
tian County. 

3 Compendium of the sixth census. * Compendium of the sixth census. 

'' Oelshausen, Staai Missouri, p. 168. ^ Campbell, Gazetteer, p. 303. 

5 Wetmore, Gazetteer, p. 38. * Barker, Hist, of All Western States, p. 433. 

9 Western Journal and Civilian, IV, 86-90. 


sent from St. Louis to Osage River points/ At high water boats ran 
to Osceola,^ but ordinarily not beyond Warsaw.^ The position of War- 
saw at the usual head of navigation, combined with the fact that here the 
overland traffic to and from the Missouri River crossed/ made it a 
flourishing trading center. In 1854 it was called the principal com- 
mercial point for about fifteen counties in southwestern Missouri.^ 
Only the extreme southern counties used the roundabout routes of the 
White and Neosho rivers as outlets. In 1851 Barry County appropri- 
ated a sum for the improvement of White River. In 1854 the General 
Assembly of Missouri voted moneys for the same purpose. Of Stone 
County, which is traversed by White River, it was reported in the seven- 
ties: " Up to the late war, all the trading of the people was carried on in a 
very primitive manner; the numerous streams of the country afforded 
ample facilities for boating, and freighted flat boats might often be seen 
drifting quietly down the river, the grain pfled high in the centre of the 
broad bottomed craft. "^ From Newton County goods were shipped 
down the Neosho River through the present state of Oklahoma to the 
Arkansas River and so to the Mississippi. There is record of three flat- 
boats of lead having been shipped to New Orleans by this route in 
1 85 1. 7 Connections with St. Louis and Kansas City, now the most 
important markets of the region, were then wanting for the most part. 


The western border entered the second phase of its development 
about 1850, when lead mining began. From the earliest times lead had 
been found in scattered lumps in this region, as in other parts of the 
Ozarks. It had been mined to a small extent in Greene and Webster 
counties in the early forties,^ and near Joplin in 1848.^ The first dis- 
covery at Granby, in Newton County, was made in 1849.'° In 1850 
six men are said to have raised 100,000 pounds of lead at this place in four 
months." The great deposits of the Granby field were discovered in 
1854." In the fall of that year there was not a house on the site of 

' Parker, Missouri as It Is, p. 187. ' De Bow's Review, XI, 89. 

= Oelshausen, Staat Missouri, p. 169. * 'S):it^a.rd,MissouriGeol.Surv.,'Kll, 181. 

3 Ibid., p. 166. ' Winslow, Missouri Gcol. Surv.,VI, 281. 

4 Wetmore, Gazetteer, p. 41. " Parker, Missouri as It Is, p. 95. 

i Ann. Rev.Comm. St. Louis (1854), p.S2. "Oelshausen, Staat Missouri, p. 167. 
* Campbell, Gazetteer, p. 609. " Parker, loc. cit. 


Granby, and only one shaft had been sunk.' In 1857 a single small shaft 
averaged $1,400 per month.^ About one thousand miners had collected 
from all parts of the world,^ and Granby was a mining camp in full 
boom.4 Hundreds of log cabins had been built, and the place had the 
appearance of a prairie-dog town, it is said, with its mounds of earth 
thrown up from hundreds of shafts in and around the town.^ In i860, 
4,000 miners were engaged.^ It is estimated that since the opening of 
the district there have been more than 5,000 shafts sunk.^ 

Transportation was still a serious problem, but as lead brought from 
5 to 6 cents per pound^ it was profitable to transport it even under the 
crude conditions then existing. "The lead of the southwest was hauled 
long distances in wagons to the markets, or to river points. Some went 
as far north as Boonville, on the Missouri River, and a large amount was 
hauled to Linn Creek, on the Osage river, while another large portion 
was hauled to Fort Smith, on the Arkansas river, and then transferred 
by boat to New Orleans, St. Louis and other markets."' 

The discovery of lead in this remote section first aroused the interest 
of the state as a whole in its southwestern part. A project soon was 
formed to develop the region by constructing the Southwestern Branch 
of the Pacific Railroad, later named the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad. 
To secure the best location for this line the State Geological Survey was 
created. The report of Swallow, published in 1858, called widespread 
attention to the prospects of mineral wealth. Construction of the rail- 
road was undertaken and continued until the outbreak of the Civil 
War, which found it completed only to Rolla. 

The war not only checked economic development but caused the 
dispersal of a considerable part of the population.'" This region, because 
of its smooth surface, formed a good passageway between the Missouri 
and Arkansas valleys, and thus witnessed the severest fighting in Mis- 
souri. It was levied upon by regular troops of both sides, and it was 
ravaged repeatedly by marauding parties. The live stock was largely 
driven out of the country and little land was cultivated. The Granby 

' Swallow, Geol. Rept. of the Southwestern Branch of the Pacific Railroad of Missouri, 
pp. 36-37- 

= Ibid. 3 Ibid. " Parker, op. cit., p. 97. 

5 Swallow, loc. cit., plate opp. p. 36; Richardson, Beyond the Mississippi, p. 210. 

* Stevens, Missouri, the Center State, I, 53. 

7 Buckley and Buehler, Missouri Bur. Geol. and Mines, Ser. 2, IV, ix. 

* Winslow, op. cit., p. 290. ' Ibid. 
"> Encyc. of the Hist, of Missouri: Barry County. 


lead mines were deserted part of the time; at other times they were 
worked either by Confederate or Federal forces.' 

The recovery of the region after the war was rapid. Christian 
County, which in 1865 was nearly depopulated, is said to have had 9,000 
inhabitants in 1872, one-third of whom returned after the war, the 
remainder having immigrated.^' In 1870 the railroad was completed from 
Rolla to Springfield and the mining region, and about at the same time 
the extraordinary mineral deposits of the Joplin district were discovered. ^ 
In 1870 there was not a single house at Joplin. In February, 1871, there 
were received at that place 80,000 pounds of lead per month. The 
Joplin Index said in 1872: "We thought this basis was sufficient for 
healthy growth, but this small beginning soon grew to 500,000 pounds 
per month, and during the last three months it has not fell [sic] short 
of 1,500,000 pounds, thus scattering in our city every month, over 
$40,000. "'» In 1874 Joplin was a city of 3,000 people, with 1,000 miners 
and 13 furnaces. Oronogo, Webb City, and Cartersville were laid out 
in quick succession. ^ In the meantime a satisfactory process had been 
developed for the treating of zinc blende.^ As a result Joplin in 1872 
began to ship out zinc ore, and, the price rising rapidly from $3 to $15 
per ton, continued to work its zinc ores at an increasing rate until by 
1880 zinc was nearly as valuable a product of the Jasper County district 
as lead.'' In this latter year Jasper County produced 10,878 tons of lead 
ore and 21,304 of zinc* The utilization of zinc revived the decadent 
mining industry of the Granby region, which yielded zinc to the value of 
$2,096,000 in the period from 1873 to 1893 and thereby surpassed its 
mineral production of the first twenty years.' From 1893 to 1904 the out- 
put of zinc was three and one-half times as valuable as that of lead. From 
the first decade of production southwestern Missouri has held first place 
in the world's zinc output. In addition to the Joplin and Granby districts 
other deposits were discovered from time to time, notably that at Aurora, 
which was opened in 1886. By 1891 Lawrence County, in which Aurora 
lies, was second among the counties of the state in zinc production and 

' Missouri Geol. Surv., VI, 291 ff. 

' Eighth Ann. Rept. State Board of Agric, p. 246. 

3 Stevens, op. cit., I, 55. 

■t Eighth Ann. Rept. State Board of Agric., p. 311. 

^ Missouri Geol. Surv., VI, 291 ff.; Stevens, op. cit., I, 59. 

* Bain, U.S. GeoL Surv., Twenty-seco-nd Ann. Rept., Part II, p. 62. 
7 Missouri Geol. Surv., VI, 291 ff, 

* Ibid., 298. ' Buckley and Buehler, op. cit., pp. 3-4. 


third in lead.' In all camps, except Oronogo, there has been a steady- 
increase in the relative importance of the zinc output from year to year. 
The development of the southwestern mining region has continued almost 
to the present day, partly as a result of discoveries of new ore bodies and 
partly because of the continued rise in the price of zinc. 

The growth of the mining camps created a good home market for 
agricultural products. The completion of the Atlantic and Pacific 
(Frisco) Railroad afforded an outlet to St. Louis. About 1880 the 
Missouri Pacific and the Kansas City, Fort Scott and Memphis railroads 
were built into the Springfield region from Kansas City.^ The former 
isolation was thus broken down rapidly and effectively. Farming 
experienced a marked invigoration. The prairies, at first despised, 
presently were considered "the most valuable agricultural land in south- 
ern Missouri. The ease with which they can be cultivated, through the 
introduction of labor-saving machinery, has given them a marked prefer- 
ence over the timbered lands."^ In 1867 Jasper County's principal 
hay product still was " taken from the prairies,"'' but in 1880 this county 
had 205,000 acres of improved land, five times as much as in 1860.5 By 
1880 the proportion of improved land to total land area had become 
higher in this region than in the longer-settled northern and eastern 
borders of the Ozark Highland. In this year Jasper, Greene, Benton, 
Dade, Lawrence, Polk, Worth, and Cedar counties each produced more 
than a million bushels of corn,^ whereas twenty years previously Greene 
County alone had produced such an amount. The soil was excellently 
adapted to wheat growing, and as soon as railroad transportation 
was available the cultivation of this grain assumed large proportions. 
As early as 1872 Springfield possessed fifteen busy mills.^ 

In the development subsequent to the Civil War settlers from north- 
ern states had a dominant influence. Illinois, Iowa, southern Wisconsin, 
and northern Missouri were well settled at that time. Southern Mis- 
souri, after it was provided with railroads, was an inviting field for immi- 
gration from older states, since large areas of good, cheap land were 
available, and farm conditions were similar to those of the prairie states 
of the Middle West. When railroads linked the region to the Missouri 

' Missouri Geol. Surv., VII, 614 ff. * Ihid., 614. 

3 Missouri State Board of Immigration, Handbook of Missouri (i88i), p. 11. 

'i Third Ann. Agric. Kept, of Missouri, p. 305. 

s Census of 1880. * Ibid. 

J Eighth Ann. Rept. Stale Board of Agric, p. 281. 


River and eastern points, a large immigration into the Springfield Plain 
took place, which was part of that great body of northern settlers who 
previously had appropriated north Missouri, Illinois, and Iowa/ Set- 
tlers from the North continued to come for several decades. In this 
connection it is interesting to note that Springfield probably was the 
first center of Congregationalism in Missouri. At present southwest 
Missouri is in almost every way more like the northern part of the state 
than is any other section south of the Missouri River. 

^/6z<i., pp. 246, 357. 


The plateau and hill regions of the central Ozarks were settled last, 
in part because of their poverty, but principally because of their isola- 
tion. Only on the periphery, where river valleys established connection 
with the outside world and furnished good land, were settlements made 
contemporaneously with those of the Ozark borders. By 1811 the 
frontier had retired sixty miles west of the Mississippi'' to the margins 
of the Courtois Hills. This region of scanty resources served as a 
barrier which deflected the major immigration to the north. On the 
east, where stream valleys led back into the hills, a limited number of 
people found homes in the occupation of valley lands. Successively 
the eastern, northern, and western borders were settled. Even after 
all the border regions were well populated the settlements of the interior 
remained few, small, and scattered, and considerable areas were still 
unoccupied. Figs. 23 and 24, showing the distribution of population in 
1820 and 1830, represent the beginning of this peripheral movement of 
population around the Ozark Center. Gradually there was a slow immi- 
gration into the central regions, the process of settlement being slowest 
in the Courtois and the Osage-Gasconade River hills and longest delayed 
on the remote Arkansas border. The region has experienced no marked 
periods of rapid growth, except after the Civil War, and nothing that 
may be called a boom. Settlement has been by gradual and unobtrusive 

Many of those who came were unable or unwilling to meet the compe- 
tition of life in more progressive regions. The Ozark Center has held 
few prizes to stimulate the ambition of its people, most of whom have 
lived uneventful lives and therefore have made little local history. The 
region has been cut off by its hills from the rest of the state, and has 
developed small interest in outside affairs. Few men have gone from 
it to take a strong hand in the affairs of the state. It has been a minor 
factor in shaping the policies of the state government, except in so far 
as counties settled by large delegations of Tennessee or Kentucky hill 
people have been bulwarks of the Republican party. The paucity 

' Brackenridge, Views of Louisiana, p. 113. 



of important events, the want of pride in local affairs, .and the character 
of the people all are reflected in the scarcity of written accounts of the 
history of the region. 


The principal pioneer groups of this region were of different types 
from those of the border sections. Probably the largest class were 
hunters predominantly; a smaller number came to farm in the valleys 
and to raise stock; others were attracted by the pine timber, saltpeter, 
and iron. 

The region inevitably became a haven for the frontiersman who lived 
by his gun and traps, giving only incidental attention to agriculture. 
As the more accessible and richer portions of the country were occupied, 
men of this class were crowded out by their unfitness for ordered occupa- 
tions and by their devotion to the chase. Of the eastern border it was 
said in 1819: "Hunting is every year becoming less an object. Those, 
therefore, who are attached to this kind of life are almost imperceptibly 
withdrawing further into the woods."' To these men the hills of the 
central Ozarks were by no means an undesirable region. They cared 
little for fertile soil and less for transportation facilities. Here was a 
healthful country, abundant game, springs of cold, clear water, patches 
of bottom land sufficient to produce the small amount of corn and cotton 
which they needed, and that elbowroom which men of this stamp desired. 
In many places lead and gunpowder could be produced with little 

Of the sections which were considered especially desirable by this 
class of frontiersmen, the White River country ranked first. It is indeed 
still a pleasant country for the hunter and fisherman. Here as early as 
1790, at the junction of the James and White, a white man made his 

' Schoolcraft, View of Lead Mines, p. 36. 

^ An interesting instance of the manner in which the early hunters lived on the 
resources of the country is the following: "When Uncle Sampson Barker was a boy he 
went out in a hollow of Taney County almost anywhere and picked up some fragments 
of lead ore. He selected a stump, white oak preferred. The hole he filled with light 
wood. He struck a flint or touched a match, if he happened to have one of those 
new-fangled things called lucifers. He piled on the ore and went away. When the 
homemade smelter had cooled off, Sampson went back, raked the lead out of the ashes 
and molded his bullets. Uncle Sampson Barker lived to be one of the oldest hunters 
in the White River region. He never thought of going to the store for cartridges, 
even when fixed ammunition became cheap, but down to the end of the century smelted 
his lead and molded his bullets" (Stevens, Missouri, the Center Stale, I, 43). 


home.^ In 1811 this region was spoken of ''with rapture by those who 

have seen it Hunters agree in declaring that on the waters of this 

river, a country may be chosen, at least one hundred miles square, not 
surpassed by the best parts of Kentucky."^ The estimate of the country 
was undoubtedly that of the hunter, not of the farmer. The springs, 
streams, and woods were reported to be of extraordinary excellence.^ 
Of this region it was said in 1818 that "the furs and peltries are taken 
down the river at certain seasons in canoes, and disposed of to traders, 
who visit the lower parts of the river for that purpose. Here they receive 
in exchange for their furs, woolen clothes, rifles, knives and hatchets, salt, 
powder, lead, etc."'' At this time a slender chain of pioneer cabins 
extended for 300 miles along the White River, from Batesville, Arkansas, 
to Forsyth, Missouri. s Other early locations were on the Black River, 
in Reynolds County,^ and at Poplar Bluff, where the combination of 
wooded hills and swamps made a good hunting-ground.^ At this time 
the northern interior regions of the Ozarks seem to have been less well 
known,^ the Niangua River, however, receiving favorable comment 
"for the number of bears which range in the woods."' 

Numerous accounts have been left of the life and character of these 
people. They were not recruited from any one class nor from any one 
section,^" although they were mostly of southern origin, like the other 
settlers of this period. For the most part they " either embraced hunting 
from the love of ease or singularity, or have fled from society to escape 
the severity of the laws, and to indulge in unrestrained passion."" Their 
life was adjusted perfectly to their primitive surroundings. "Insulated 
by a pathless wilderness, without the pale of civil law, or the restraints 
upon manners and actions imposed by refined society, this population 
are an extraordinary instance of the retrogression of society. So far 
as is not necessary for animal existence, they have abandoned the pur- 
suit of agriculture."'^ As late as 1859 the inhabitants of the Arkansas 

^ CsLinpheW, Gazetteer, p. 609; Schoolcraft in 1818 found no families above Beaver- 
Creek {Tour into the Interior, pp. 43-67). 

^ Brackenridge, Views of Louisiana, p. loi. 

3 Ibid. ■* Schoolcraft, op. cit., pp. 249, 250. 

5 Pettibone, in Missouri Hist. Colls., Vol. II, No. i, pp. 47-50. 

^ Campbell, Gazetteer, p. 477. ' Ibid., p. 83. 

* Brackenridge, op. cit., p. 102; Beck, Gazetteer, p. 336. 

9 Dana, Geog. Sketches onjhe West Country, p. 293. 
" Schoolcraft, op. cit., pp. 174-75; see also his Tour into the Interior. 
" Ibid. " Ibid. 


border were characterized as half wild/ certainly somewhat too sweeping 
a generalization. 

Their occupations were described thus: They 

support themselves by hunting the bear, deer, buffaloe, elk, beaver, racoon, 

and o^:her animals They also raise some corn for bread, and for feeding 

their horses, on preparing for long voyages into the woods, or other extraordi- 
nary occasions. They seldom, however, cultivate more than an acre or two, 

subsisting chiefly on animal food and wild honey When the season of 

hunting arrives, the ordinary labors of a man about the house and corn-field 

devolve upon the women They in fact pursue a similar course of life 

with the savages; having embraced their love of ease, and their contempt for 
agricultural pursuits, with their sagacity in the chase, their mode of dressing 
in skins, their manners, and their hospitality to strangers.^ 

This class of frontiersman, so numerously represented in the Ozark 
hills, formed little attachment to the place of their habitation. They 
were said to "continue there, until the game has disappeared, or the 
proper claimant of the land comes and ' warns them off.' "^ The nomadic 
habits of the frontier were developed to the highest degree in this foot- 
loose group. The general type is well described by Flint: "Next to 
hunting, Indian wars, and the wonderful exuberance of Kentucky, the 

' Muench, Staat Missouri (1859), p. 74; (1865), p. 55. 

^ Schoolcraft, loc. cit.; similarly Featherstonhaugh, Excursion, I, 33 7. An account 
of early Howell County has it that "the country at that time abounded in millions of 
deer, turkeys, bear, wolves, and small animals. I remember as my father was mov- 
ing west .... that we could see the deer feeding on the hills in great herds like 
-cattle, and wild turkeys were in abundance. Wild meat was so plentiful that the 
settlers easily subsisted upon the flesh of wild animals until they could grow some 
tame stock, such as hogs and cattle. This country was then almost a 'land of honey.' 
Bees abounded in great numbers and men hunted them for the profit they derived from 
the beeswax. When my father first located, beeswax, peltry and fur skins almost 
constituted the currency of the country. I remember that a short time after my father 
located, a gentleman came to my father's house and wanted to buy a horse and offered 
to pay him in beeswax and honey." In hunting expeditions, honey and beeswax 
were as much sought after as deer skins. Not infrequently the hunters returned laden 
with freshly killed deer skins, filled with wild honey in the comb. The women then 
separated the honey from the beeswax, molded the beeswax into cakes, and helped 
to prepare the deer skins. Honey supplied the household sweetening; beeswax 
and skins were marketed. Taxes were commonly paid with skins. "I have seen 
collectors leading a horse for the purpose of carrying his fur skins. I have seen the 
horse completely covered with fur skins so you could see no part of him but his head 
and hoofs and tail" (Monks, Hist, of Southern Missouri and Northern Arkansas, 
pp. 8-1 1). 

3 Baird, View of the Mississippi, p. 238. 


favorite topic is new countries. They talk of them. They are attached 
to the associations connected with such conversations. They have a 
fatal effect upon their exertions. They have no motive, in consonance 
with these feelings, to build with old Cato, 'for posterity and the im- 
mortal gods.' They only make such improvements as they can leave 
without reluctance and without loss."^ This class was typical, of course, 
of almost every frontier. It existed in greater purity, however, in the 
Ozark hills, and remained longer there than in most sections, because 
of the small and belated competition from agricultural immigrants. 
As Missouri developed, many men of this type moved west with the 
frontier.^ Others retreated into the hills south of the Missouri. Since 
the Ozark hills were almost unoccupied agriculturally for years after 
the surrounding regions had been converted to farming uses, this section 
long served as a refuge to the hunter frontiersman. Thus many became 
detached from that westward moving frontier of which they had been 
a part and remained in the hills. They gradually accepted agricultural 
habits,^ with varying degrees of success," or formed a local proletariat, 
working at teaming, tie hacking, clay digging, and other occasional jobs. 


The pine forests of the Gasconade, and later those of the Arkansas 
border, attracted numbers of people. In 1818 Nicholas Van Zandt 
wrote of the Gasconade: "Lumber is rafted down this river for more than 
60 miles during high water, "s Schoolcraft, traveling across the Ozarks 
in 1 81 8-1 9, observed that the sawmills on the Gasconade constituted the 
only settlements in that region.^ He wrote: "On this stream are already 
situated several saw mills, where boards and plank are cut for the St. 
Louis market. "7 As the party of Major Long passed up the Missouri 
River in 181 9, they found that most of the settlements along it were 
supplied with pine timber from sawmills on the Gasconade.* This was 
the nearest source of pine lumber for the St. Louis district,^ and as a 

'Flint, Recollections, pp. 204-5; see also Featherstonhaugh, op. clL, I, 336 ff. 
'Muench, Staat Missouri (1859), p. 74; (1865), p. 55; Baird, loc. cit. 
3 Campbell, Gazetteer, pp. 609, 617 (account of the Yocum family); Muench, 
Staat Missouri (1865), p. 55. 

* Ball and Smith, Missouri Bur. Geol. and Mines, Ser. 2, I, 20. 

s Full Description of the Military Lands, p. 102. * Tour into the Interior, p. 15. 
7 View of Lead Mines, p. 164; see also p. 172. 

* James, in Early Western Travels, XIV, 137. 

' Beck, Gazetteer, p. 232; Thwaites, Early Western Travels, XVIII, 33-34. 


result there soon developed a profitable business of rafting pine planks 
and timber from the upper Gasconade/ In 1823 it was said: "Formerly, 
lumber was brought at great expense from the Alleghany and Ohio 
rivers. At present it can be sent down the Gasconade to St. Louis, and 
the other towns along the river, for one-fourth the price. "^ The first 
settlements in Texas County were made by men who built sawmills on 
the Big Piney.3 Here there were in 1823 "already six saw-mills erected, 
which are kept continually employed. "^ In 183 1 it was said that from 
this country a "great supply of plank and timber, of that kind is brought 
to St. Charles and St. Louis."s In 1852 the Gasconade Valley was still 
considered chiefly important for the supplies of pine plank and timber 
which it furnished to the country below.^ At about this time the more 
remote forests of the Arkansas border were first exploited, as most of the 
Gasconade lumber had been cut. There were then more than a dozen 
small mills in Ozark County, "some capable of cutting upwards of 2,000 
feet per day." Fig. 17 is a map illustrating the principal "pineries" 
of Ozark County about 1855 and the location of mills. A large portion 
of this lumber was conveyed by ox teams to Springfield, Bolivar, and 
even to Linn Creek, on the Osage.'? By 1867 the southern part of the 
Courtois Hills, including Carter County, had become an important 
producer of pine lumber.* 

The saltpeter caves of the cavernous limestone formations were per- 
haps the best-known resource of the interior districts in early days. 
As was the case in Kentucky and Tennessee, they were eagerly sought and 
supplied a needed commodity to the frontier. The number of saltpeter 
caves is said to have been greatest along the Gasconade River.^ The 
deposits were for the most part bat guano and earth, impregnated with 
the feces of bats and birds that had their homes in the caves.'° Bradbury 
wrote of the saltpeter industry in 18 10 as though it had been established 
some time. He said : " In order to obtain the nitre, the earth is collected 
and Hxiviated; the water, after being saturated, is boiled down and 
suffered to stand till the crystals are formed. In this manner, it is no 

' Pattie, in Early Western Travels, XVIII, zi. ^ Parker, Missouri as It Is, p. 404- 
= Beck, Gazetteer, p. 282. " Beck, Gazetteer, p. 232. 

5 Flint, History and Geography of the Mississippi Valley, p. 302. 
* De Bow, Industrial Resources, II, 62. 

7 Shumard, Repts. Geol. Surv. of Missouri (1855-71), pp. 201-2. 

8 Eighth Ann. Agric. Rept. of Missouri, pp. 54-56. 

9 Encyc. of the Hist, of Missouri: Gasconade County. 
" See Stevens, Missouri, the Center State, I, 170. 


uncommon thing for three men to make a hundred poimds of saltpetre 
in one day." In the spring of 1810 a man and his two sons made 3,000 
pounds on the Gasconade in a few weeks.^ Not later than 181 6 settlers 
near Waynesville, Pulaski County, made gunpowder by mixing saltpeter 
with charcoal, produced locally, and sulphur. They found a ready mar- 
ket for their product among the hunters and trappers of the region.^ 
On Current River, at Ashley's Cave, Schoolcraft observed in 1818 that 
"great quantities of this article are annually collected and manufactured 
by Colonel Ashley, of Mine a Burton, and transported to his powder- 
manufactory, in Washington county."^ In 1837 it was said: "The 
mineral is either sent down the river, or consumed in the manufacture 
of gunpowder, for which there are several mills. ' '^ One of the last records 
of the use of these deposits for gunpowder dates from the Civil War, 
during which it is said considerable quantities were made at Friedes 
Cave, Phelps County.^ Most of what remained of the deposits after the 
war has been consumed as farm fertilizer. 

The mining and manufacture of iron near St. James in Phelps County 
was the largest mineral industry of the interior. In 1826 Massey, one 
of the most famous pioneers of Missouri, opened the "Meramec" ore 
bank and in 1829 the Meramec Iron Works.^ "A Httle settlement 
sprang up here, and in 1835 it contained about 50 families. "^ In spite 
of the poor transportation facilities the iron industry prospered, and 
before the opening of the Iron Mountain district supplied manufactured 
iron to almost all parts of the state.* A number of people found employ- 
ment in hauling iron to Hermann, the shipping-point on the Missouri 
River, and in returning with provisions for the iron works. Because of 
this traffic the main highway of Gasconade County is still known as 
Iron Road. The furnace was operated until 1860^ and the mine until 
1 89 1," to which date it had produced 375,000 tons. The company 
also developed other properties in this vicinity. In 1819, before the 
Meramec Works were put into operation, a bloomery had been built on 
Thicketty Creek, Crawford County, the ore being hauled in ox carts 
from the adjacent hills and smelted in a crude stone stack. Midland, 

' In Early Western Travels, V, 247. = Campbell, Gazetteer, p. 455. 

3 Tour into the Interior, p. 10; see also View of Lead Mines, p. 43. 

-•Wetmore, Gazetteer, p. 74 (quoted from Beck). 

5 Encyc. of the Hist, of Missouri. ' Campbell, Gazetteer, p. 433. 

^ Shumard, op. cit., p. 238. * Wetmore, Gazetteer, p. 69. 

9 Missouri Bur. Geol. and Mines, Ser. 2, X, 289. 

'°Ibid., p. 295. 


in Crawford County, was at one time a flourishing iron-making com- 
munity, with 300 men engaged at the furnace, nearly 100 at the ore 
banks, and about 300 cutting wood and making charcoal' An iron 
furnace was also built in 1849 at the Scotia mines in Crawford County.^ 
An early furnace farther west, in Camden County, is said to have repre- 
sented an investment of $50,000,^ a sum not equaled by any present- 
day industry of the county. Other furnaces were put into blast and 
other mines were opened from time to time. They performed a valuable 
service during the pioneer period in supplying iron at moderate prices to 
a considerable part of the state. Iron was made in these small plants 
until the deposits of ore were exhausted, or until their operation was 
made unprofitable by the great cheapening of iron through the develop- 
ment of rail transportation and of a large-scale industry in the East. 


Agricultural settlers, in so far as they can be differentiated from the 
preceding types, entered the region first from the East by ascending the 
larger valleys. In 181 5 a settlement was made on the Meramec in 
Crawford County.'* On the Fourche a Courtois a number of plantations 
had been estabhshed by i8i8.s In Wayne County Spanish grants were 
made along the St. Francois River. In 1823 settlements in Wayne 
County still were confined largely to this stream, the upland being in 
general undesirable.* In Ripley County the first permanent settlement 
was made in 181 9 on the Current River. ^ At this date there were settle- 
ments also on Eleven Points River in Oregon County.* These valley 
settlers were in the main distinctly farmers, who removed from the lime- 
stone basins of the St. Francois area and the Mississippi River counties. 
On the north the Osage River was the principal line of approach, as it 
afforded the best means of transportation through the northern hill 
region.9 The slip-off slopes along the intrenched meanders were attract- 
ive sites for settlement, affording water transportation, good farmland, 
and security from floods. A rather enthusiastic account of 1839 says: 
"This river, which twenty years ago was deemed to be in exclusive pos- 
session of the savages, is now bordered by thriving settlements 

' Stevens, Missouri, the Center State, I, 203. •s Nason, op. cit., p. 31 1- 

2 Ibid. * Parker, Missouri as It Is, p. 239. 

5 Schoolcraft, Tour into the Interior, p. 5; View of Lead Mines, p. 51- 

* Beck, Gazetteer, p. 257. 

' Campbell, Gazetteer, p. 479. * Ibid., p. 407. 

9 Ball and Smith, Missouri Bur. Geol. and Mines, Ser. 2, I, 19. 


A steamboat plies regularly between the Osage and the settlements near 
the mouth of the Missouri and the country is rapidly filling up with 

Generally settlement began with the valley lands, then the prairie 
margins were occupied, and later the open prairies, whereas most of the 
hillsides remain unimproved to this day. Of Howell County in 1844 it 
is said: "The country at that time was very sparsely settled. The 
settlements were confined to the creeks and rivers, where were found 
plenty of water and springs. No place at that time was thought worth 
settling unless it had a spring upon it."^ In the north the date of entry 
of land depended to a very considerable degree on the distance from the 
Missouri River, as this was the only outlet for the region. There was 
also extremely close accordance of drainage lines and early settlement. 
In contrast to the border regions no preference was shown for small 
valleys as against the larger ones. In this section almost all streams 
have sufficient fall to make them reasonably free from malaria. On 
the Osage malaria was somewhat prevalent,^ but conditions were not 
very serious. The settlers built their houses by preference well up on 
the valley sides," and here for the most part they lived securely and 
prosperously. Only on the southeastern streams near the margins of 
the area were conditions of health in general bad. 

Fig. 26 illustrates the order of entry for the lands in Hickory County, 
which is situated largely in the Central Plateau. The first settlements 
were in the southeastern corner, in the Elkton Prairie region. This tract 
is assigned most properly to the Springfield Plain. It contains excellent 
soils of the Springfield-Lebanon groups, has good water accessible in the 
small valleys, and was also within a convenient distance of timber. It 
is still probably the most prosperous section in the county. The next 
entries were on the Pomme de Terre River, which bisects the county 
north and south, and on the smaller creeks. In this decade there were 
also notable entries on the prairies which occupy the interstream areas. 
The decade 1850-60 witnessed the purchase of almost all of the remain- 
ing prairie land. This rapid entry was due in part to the Graduation 
Act and the inducements it held for speculation. The dissected country 
marginal to the Pomme de Terre River and the poor Clarksville soils of 
the eastern extremity were entered slowly in the succeeding years. This 
map probably suggests too strongly the early occupation of prairies in 

' Niles' Register, LVI, 224. = Monks, op. ciL, p. 7. 

3 Tixier, Voyage aux Prairies Osages, pp. 256-57. 

* Ball and Smith, Missouri Bur. Geol. and Mines, Ser. 2, 1, 19. 



Hickory County. Old settlers maintain that early settlements were not 
on the prairie but at its margins. Much of the prairie land probably 
was not improved for years after it was entered. The early purchase of 
such large areas of the prairie, however, indicates clearly that even at 
that time the merits of the land were appreciated, although the pioneer 
still found it more convenient for a number of years to remain in the 
familiar location on the side of a valley. In Pulaski County the small 
prairie uplands, especially on the northwest, were entered similarly 
at an early date. In Dallas County, Buffalo Head Prairie was one of 

Fig. 26. — Order of land entries in Hickory County (prepared from Land Entry 
Book, County Clerk's Office, Hermitage). 

the earlier settlements. The same is true of most of the prairies of the 
Central Plateau. Except in the southern portion, settlers located on the 
prairies before 1840. The time and rate of settlement seem to have been 
determined, not so much by the woodland or prairie character of the 
land, but by the desirability of the soil. The Iberia and better grade of 
Lebanon soils were settled before the Civil War, while many of the tracts 
of Howell upland soils with their stony surfaces were not entered until 
lately. Most of the prairies were long, narrow strips with wood and 
water accessible at short distances. They provided excellent grazing 
for cattle, of which many were kept in this section, and their sod was not 


SO difficult to break as that of the larger prairies. Moreover, the princi- 
pal highways followed these ridge lands. They therefore did not repel 
settlement as did the large prairies of the western and northern parts of 
the state. The central counties of the Arkansas border were last to be 
settled because they possessed no large tracts of first-class soil, and were 
shut off from markets, not only by a considerable stretch of difficult 
wild country, but also by the swampy lowlands of southeastern Missouri 
and northeastern Arkansas. In Douglas County, for example, little 
land was entered before 1870. 

The minimum price of $1 .25 an acre for public lands proved an 
obstacle to the settlement of the poorer tracts, as most of the land then 
was not considered worth the price. Land entries were greatly stimu- 
lated by the passage of the Graduation Act in 1854. In the year ending 
June 30, 1858, 1,890,000 acres of public land were sold under this act in 
Missouri. Of this number 1,140,304 were disposed of at 12I cents per 
acre and 227,940,000 acres at 25 cents. These lands were described 
chiefly as pine lands, limestone districts, and mineral, i.e., other non- 
agricultural lands. The land office at Jackson alone sold 1,009,335 acres 
at 12I cents and 85,999 acres at 25 cents,' largely in Shannon and other 
counties of the Courtois Hills.^ 

The region suffered a check during the Civil War fully as severe as 
the southwest. This was true especially of plateau counties near the 
Arkansas border, settled by Tennessee hill people who were northern 
sympathizers. The settlements were weak and the broken country 
along the streams gave easy refuge to the lawless bands,^ as it had done 
from time to time previously .4 In 1865 Oregon County complained that 
it "contained less than two hundred families, and half of them without 
a male head; that our villages and farms had been consumed by the 
torch of the jayhawker; .... that our mills, stock and grain were all 
swept away.'*5 In Howell County only fifty families remained at the 
close of the war.^ On the other hand it is recorded that "Stone County 
suffered little during the late Civil War on account of its topography, 

' Parker, Missouri as It Is, pp. 173-74. * Ibid., p. 382. 

3 Ball and Smith, Missouri Bur. Geol. and Mines, Ser, 2, I, 20. 

* "About 1833 there was formed in St. Louis, with headquarters at Waynesville, 
in Pulaski County, an organization known commonly as the Bank of Niangua. It 
had a president, cashier, clerks, board of directors, and for some time paid enormous 
dividends. The organization was a band of counterfeiters, and had in the mountains 
of Pulaski County a cabin where the counterfeiting was done" {Encyc. of the Hist, 
of Missouri: Bank of Niangua). 

s Second Ann. Rept. State Board of Agric, p. 292. ^ Campbell, Gazetteer, p. 255. 


which put a formidable barrier in the way of marauding parties."' It 
seems that the White River country was too difficult of access even for 
bands of bushwhackers and jay hawkers. 

Agricultural immigration previous to the war had been overwhelm- 
ingly from Tennessee and Kentucky. Some of the southeastern counties 
to this day are inhabited chiefly by Tennesseeans,^ and it is no rare thing 
to find some remote valley in which every inhabitant is descended from 
Tennessee stock. The ancestor of one of the pioneers of Howell County 
came from Ireland and settled in South Carolina. His descendants 
removed to Alabama, thence to Tennessee, Illinois, and Arkansas suc- 
cessively, drifting with the stream courses. The final removal was from 
Arkansas to Missouri.^ Of the representatives from the central Ozarks 
to the state legislature in 1872, ten were from Tennessee, six from Ken- 
tucky, three were natives of Virginia, two of North Carolina, and one 
of Hungary.4 Many of the settlers were hill people from central and 
east Tennessee, drawn from the poorest classes.^ Some of the counties 
of Tennessee which contributed largely were Monroe, Polk, Sumner, 
Smith, and Grainger. Of the immigrants to the Osage Valley it was 
said: "The uncertainty of the navigation of the Osage has prevented the 
staple growing immigrants from settling in its valley and consequently 
it has been left open to the smaller farmers .... not having much 
produce to ship."^ A few of the prairie farmers were slave-owners,^ but 
most of the people kept no slaves and opposed slavery. The hill people 
of the Alleghany Plateau found here conditions not unlike those of their 
homes but much better in many respects, especially as regards soil, 
water, and accessibility. Because this region was adapted to their 
tastes and was free from the competition of the wealthier and more 
efficient farming classes of other sections they moved into it in large 

After the war the immigration of southern hill people slackened, while 
home seekers of small means came from many northern states, especially 
to the prairies of the Central Plateau. To this immigration Indiana, 
Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and the New England states contributed 

' Ibid., p. 609. 

^ See biographical section, Hist, of Southeastern Missouri (1888). 

3 Monks, op. cit., pp. 5-6. 

■* Pratt, Pen Pictures, House of Representatives (1872). 

s Featherstonhaugh, Excursions, I, 337. 

* Western Journal and Civilian, I, 51. 

' Ball and Smith, Missouri Bur. Geol. and Mines, Ser. 2, I, 20. 


most.^ The better lands farther east had been taken up. The Home- 
stead Act (1862) enabled men of little or no means to establish them- 
selves in reasonable comfort on these lands. ^ The Atlantic and Pacific 
Railroad (Frisco) was in operation and opened a large tract of land previ- 
ously difficult of access. Moreover, the road had been financed largely 
by a land grant and the company advertised its lands vigorously.^ 
These lands were placed on sale at reasonable prices, and large quantities 
were sold, beginning with the seventies. 

Until the last quarter-century stock raising was the most profitable 
occupation. For many counties it was almost the only business from 
which cash returns could be secured because the poor roads and the 
distance to market prohibited other exports. In 1866 Dallas County 
reported: "Cattle are driven to market from this county to St. Louis 
and other markets. Large droves are bought up and driven to Iowa, 
Illinois, and to other portions of this state."'' This statement could be 
applied equally well to many of the interior counties until recently. 
Polk County was early noted for its stock.s Qf Oregon County it was 
said in 1859 that "the inhabitants cultivate enough corn for bread and 
live happily and simply by the chase and stock-raising."^ As long as 
there were not too many people engaged in raising stock the business was 
profitable, even in the hilliest sections. The combination of fertile 
lands for the growth of corn and hay and of land suited for pasturage 
was appreciated early as the principal advantage of this region.^ For 
the most part, however, stock raising was by grazing on the wild land 
rather than by the feeding of hay or grain. Cattle were turned out on 
the free range of the public domain after the fashion first practiced by 
the French. "A man could raise all the stock in the way of horses and 
cattle that he could possibly look after; the only expense was salting and 
caring for them."* The nutritious bluestem grass grew on the prairie, 
and on the slopes of steep hills,' and the habit of burning it in the fall 
made grazing good even in the timber. It was claimed as late as 1881, 
with some exaggeration, that this was "a range for stock unsurpassed 

' Eighth Ann. Rept. State Board of Agric, pp. 273, 292, 296, 376, 423. 

* Ibid., p. 296. 

3 Lands on the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad (187 1). 

< Second Ann. Rept. State Board of Agric, p. 246. 

sOelshausen, Staat Missouri, p. 170; Muench, Staat Missouri (1859), p. 214. 

^ Muench, op. cit., p. 215. * Monks, op. cit., p. 11. 

7 Wetmore, Gazetteer (1837), p. 70. " Oelshausen, op. cit., p. 6. 


at least for quality; a region well-watered, well-timbered and shaded, 
clothed with nutritious grasses."' To some extent the practice pre- 
vailed of driving cattle south in winter to the canebrakes of Arkansas, 
thus entirely avoiding the cost of feeding.^ Hogs were raised with equal 
ease and at less cost on the abundant mast but were somewhat more 
difficult to market. 

The method pursued in raising stock was cheap, well adapted to the 
conditions then existing, and required almost no labor, but it did not 
tend to produce stock of high quality. In Crawford County it was stated 
that " the method has been to let cattle run through the summer and get 
fat; sell off what can be spared and keep the rest on the very least pos- 
sible amount of ' roughness ' that will subsist an animal and keep strength 
enough in the body to begin with in the coming spring; in this way it 
takes one-third of the summer to recover the losses of winter starvation. 
I have no doubt but one-half the entire neat cattle of this county, with 
horses, mules, sheep and hogs go through the winter season with no 
more food than would be required to feed them well two weeks. "^ The 
average weight of a cow was given at 375 pounds or less, and that of a 
four-year-old steer at 475. "Hogs are perhaps the most neglected of 
any kind of stock. The common breed of the country, the 'pointer,' 
is the almost universal hog here, and a meaner one cannot be found in 
any country." Its average weight was said not to exceed 135 pounds.'' 

With the extension of settlement and continued stock raising the 
range deteriorated rapidly. Close grazing killed out the bluestem 
grass. The cessation of fires caused the grasses to be displaced by a 
growth of weeds, prairie grass, sassafras sprouts, and post-oak runners. ^ 
Grazing continued to be good longest in the southern border counties, 
which were settled last. With pasturage reduced in area and quality, 
a decrease in the number of stock became necessary, and this resulted 
either in greater attention to crop growing and lumbering or in a pro- 
gressively reduced standard of living. This readjustment, in part, is 
still taking place.* 

The other pioneer occupations did not differ materially from those 
of the border regions, except in a few respects, (i) Because of their 
isolation the people of this region were forced to be self-sufficient to a 

' Handbook of Missouri, p. 24. * Ibid. 

3 First Ann. RepL State Board of Agric, App., p. 6i. ■• Ibid. 

s Eighth Ann. Rept. State Board of Agric., p. 225. 
* Marbut, Soil Reconnaissance, pp. 19-22. 


larger extent and for a longer period than the pioneers of the border 
regions. As a result cotton growing, household spinning and weaving, 
and other pioneer industries were common long after they had been 
abandoned in other sections.^ In 1867 homemade farm implements 
were still in general use.^ (2) Mining was less important than in the 
other sections. Iron was by far the most valuable mineral product. 
Lead was worked here and there, mostly at odd times. Crawford 
County produced lead to the value of $202,000 before 1880 and Miller 
County to the value of $178,000.^ For a time great things were expected 
of the copper deposits of Shannon County, of which the government 
reserved seven townships. Copper was produced as early as 1837; 
one mine is said to have yielded $50,000 worth, all told, but the industry 
never realized more than a small part of the expectations of those who 
developed it.'' (3) The region is unusually well supplied with mill sites, 
and water mills were constructed in almost every neighborhood. Not 
only were the rapid, clear, hill streams so used but the springs afforded 
splendid power for driving primitive water wheels. The great Bryce's 
Spring, the spring at Hahatonka,^ the one at Waynesville, and many 
others were so used. They were not often affected by droughts nor 
endangered by floods and usually furnished more power than was needed. 
(4) Production on the whole was less efficient than in the border regions. 
The people who appropriated this region were for the most part poor and 
accustomed to low standards of living, and they found in it little to raise 
these standards. By moderate labor they could secure enough to 
supply their small wants. By additional labor they gained little more, 
working in the fashion to which they had become accustomed. One 
man made about as much as his neighbor and both were satisfied. 
Because of the lack of transportation facilities there was little stimulus 
to the production of a surplus. In Ripley County in 1867 the hoe was 
enumerated among the principal agricultural implements.^ This 
quality of being contented with little was described graphically in 1859 
as follows: "Until our people [Crawford County] are educated up to the 

' On the production of cotton see First Ann. Agric. Rept. of Missouri, App., p. 64. 
^ Third Ann. Agric. Rept., p. 337; First Ann. Agric. Rept., App., p. 60. 
3 Winslow, Missouri Geol. Surv., VI. 

•» Bain and Ulrich, U.S. Geol. Surv., Bull. No. 267, pp. 9-10. 
s An early appreciation of this splendid mill site is in Swallow, First Ann. Rept. 
Geol. Surv. of Missouri, p. 205. 

* Third Ann. Agric. Rept., p. 337; First Ann. Agric. Rept., App., p. 60. 


point where they can value a sheep higher than a dog, and agriculture 
and manufactures better than opossum and coon hunting, I suppose our 
annual crops of nutritious grains will grow to 'waste their fragrance on 
the desert air,' and our rapid streams send their babbling waters to 
cool the mean whiskey . . . . , instead of making cheap clothing for 
our ragged people."' 

^ First Ann. Agric. RepL, App., p. 59. 



The latest infusion of blood into the region, on a large scale, has been 
by German immigration. Excepting the French it has contributed the 
only appreciable number of non-English people, the Swedish colonies of 
the southwest and the Polish and Bohemian settlements of Franklin 
and Gasconade counties being nearly negligible in comparison. The 
larger part of the rural German population of Missouri is located in the 
Missouri and Mississippi border regions of the Ozarks, in compact 
settlements. Here the German immigration has displaced largely the 
earlier American settlers. The process of German settlement has dupli- 
cated in the main that of the original settlement of the region. The 
groups of Germans, who located at various places at different times, 
exhibit to a high degree common racial characteristics, which have been 
modified only in part by their present environment. This individuality 
of the German stock has expressed itself prominently in the development 
of the region which they occupy. 


The earliest compact settlements of Germans were made before the 
end of the eighteenth century by the so-called Whitewater Dutch, under 
the leadership of Bollinger.\ This was the only German colony in Mis- 
souri which was on the extreme frontier.^ It was established about 
Whitewater Creek in Cape Girardeau and Bollinger counties, remained 
isolated for a considerable period, and so preserved for a time the racial 
traits almost unchanged.^ These colonists were, however, not rein- 
forced by other German immigrants. Historically, this immigration 
was part of the great movement of settlers from the South into the 
new West, not directly a movement from abroad. Most of them were 
natives of North Carolina, and they were not in communication with 
other German groups in the West, nor with Germany. When, therefore, 
they became surrounded by Anglo-American settlements they gradually 
lost their racial identity. In physical characteristics there is nothing to 
distinguish them at present from their neighbors. Typically they are tall, 

I The name of Bollinger County is still given the German pronunciation. 
^ Flint, Recollections of the Last Ten Years, p. 233. ^ Ibid., p. 232. 



spare, and sharp-featured. They retain nothing of their original language 
or customs but still the consciousness of their extraction. They hold 
themselves in general quite aloof from the German immigrants who came 
a half-century later. They are still in part Lutherans and have been 
much less mobile than the Anglo-Saxon stock of the region, remaining 
commonly in their ancestral seats. These are as a rule the best farms 
of that section. 


The next period of German immigration commenced about 1830 
and continued until after 1850.' The dominant type during this time 
consisted of educated men, many of them of gentle birth. They were 
largely exiles from Germany, voluntary or involuntary. The Napoleonic 
wars had been followed by a constitutionalist movement, which was sup- 
ported especially by university circles. This " Jungdeutschland" move- 
ment was suppressed by a reactionary government, and many of 
those who participated in it were forced to flee or chose to leave the 
country. Following the years 1832-33 and 1848-49 thousands of Ger- 
many's ablest men, young and old, left their native land and a large part 
of them came to America. A second group, a small one, came to the New 
World because it had tired of a convention-ridden civilization. The 
spirit of romanticism then was strong in many quarters, and there were 
some who put into practice, more or less consistently, the principles of 
Rousseau in the wilderness of the West. A third group consisted 
of religious Separatists, for whom the free and full development of their 
ideals depended on escape from the repressive hand of an established 
church. In all of these classes ideal rather than economic considerations 
were dominant. For all of them the frontier was the best place to realize 
these ideals, each group hoping to build its community uninfluenced by 
established institutions. Others, probably the largest single class but not 
the most influential, came solely to better their fortunes. A few were 
unruly spirits who wished to escape the surveillance of society. The 
Germans of Missouri of 1834 were described as a "group of Westphalian 
hired hands, who had established themselves after a poor fashion, and a 
mottled aristocracy, consisting of German counts, barons, scholars, 
pastors, planters, and officers."^ 

' A good summary of German immigration is by Kargau, in Missouri Hist. Colls., ^ 
Vol. II, No. I, p. 23. 

' Eickhoff, In der neuen Heimat (2d ed.), p. 337; accounts of the character of early 
immigrants are to be found, ibid., pp. 337-39, and in Korner, Das deutsche Element in 
den Vereinigten Staaten, pp. 299-350. 


The determining factor in directing many of these Germans to Mis- 
souri was the pubhcation of a book, entitled Reise nach den westlichen 
Staaten, by Gottfried Duden. During 1824-25 this man Hved on Lake 
Creek, in Warren County. He wrote in glowing terms of the beautiful 
Missouri Valley, the wooded uplands, the mild climate, and the charm 
of pioneer life. He seems to have experienced two abnormally mild 
winters. At any rate, unintentionally, he led many to expect a climate 
almost Italian in its moderation. The volume contains few misstate- 
ments, but had unfortunate results through the emphasis placed by the 
author on his own experiences in Missouri. The publication of this 
geographic romance bore almost immediate fruits.^ Those who were 
dissatisfied with Germany hoped to find in the region a new home similar 
to their German one, but without its social and geographic drawbacks. 

By the end of the year 1832 there were at least thirty- three German 
families established on the Missouri and twenty in the old Boone settle- 
ment on the Femme Osage. On this first list were a number of noblemen 
and others who later became well-known figures in the state. Directly 
in response to the propaganda of Duden the Emigration Society of 
Giessen sent over, in 1834, a colony which became located at the home 
of Duden, in the vicinity of Dutzow, Warren County.^ "All flocked at 
first to the place where the philosopher of the wilderness had lived, 
and here there was soon formed a settlement composed of the most 
varied German elements."^ 

The nucleus having been formed, many others came to various parts 
of the Missouri Valley,4 the Missouri River serving as distributary. 
The vicinity of Pinckney, Warren County, attracted many.s Some 
located many miles above, as the two counts Baudissin, at Portland in 
Callaway County. Washington was settled by an emigration society 
from Berlin,^ and in 1838 the largest single colony was located at Her- 
mann. This group was sent out from Philadelphia. Its agent came 
west with instructions to select a site on a navigable river. He chose 
the site of Hermann, in part because of the German settlements already 
established north of the river, in part because a large block of public 
land was available there, in part because the romantic location on the 
loess bluffs of the Missouri reminded him of his south German home and 

' Loher, Deutsche in Amerika, p. 277. 

^ Muench, Staat Missouri (1859), P- 8; Loher, op. ciL, p. 278. 

3 Muench, ibid., p. 19. t Flagg, The Far West, II, 19. 

s Zimmermann, Missouri Hist. Rev., IX, 41; Oelshausen, Staat Missouri, p. 148. 

* Bek, German Settlement Society of Philadelphia, p. 46. 


suggested the possibility of hillside horticulture, and largely because he 
was an inexperienced judge of farmland and of town sites.' Two 
hundred and thirty persons arrived in the first year, recruited from all 
parts of Germany, Alsace, and Switzerland.^ On the Mississippi River 
Border German immigrants entered Cape Girardeau County in 1833-34 
and in 1835 or 1836 a Swiss colony was located at Dutchtown.^ 

The earliest settlement in Missouri for the purpose of securing reli- 
gious solidarity was at Westphalia, Osage County. Here Catholics from 
Muenster selected a location on Maries Creek in 1833 and founded a 
village. In 1844 there was a second large immigration, reinforced in 
1 849 by political refugees. Around this center other Catholic settlements 
formed shortly, including Taos in Cole County, Richfountain, Loose 
Creek, Luystown, Frankenstein, and others in Osage County.^ Other 
Catholic settlements were those of 1840 at New Offenburg and Zell in 
Ste. Genevieve County, attracted apparently by the French Catholics 
resident near by. This nucleus expanded rapidly, especially by immi- 
grants from the lower and upper Rhine,^ until Ste. Genevieve County 
possessed a German-speaking majority. In 1839 Protestant Separa- 
tists, the so-called Stephanists, came to Perry County and founded, 
in a short time, the German villages of Wittenberg, Altenburg, and. 
Frohna.* Their choice of rough hill lands was most unfortunate and was 
due to the inefhciency of their leader in matters of practical judgment.'' 

These, in the main, were the early nuclei of German settlement in 
Missouri outside of St. Louis. Mostly, they proposed to preserve the 
German language and institutions and many of them had definite reli- 
gious or social ends. They possessed, therefore, a homogeneity which 
carried most of them safely through the difhcult period of readjustment. 
The colony settlements introduced a degree of social organization previ- 
ously unknown in this section. Their social and economic advantages 
helped to attract later immigrants. Because of the number of early 
settlers who were men of education, others of the same sort were attracted 
from time to time. To establish these colonies it was necessary to 
select locations which were unoccupied in the main. These were either 
at some distance from the large rivers, as Westphalia, or consisted of land 

' Ibid., pp. 38-46; Schmolder, Wegweiser fiir Auswanderer, p. 94; Loher, op. cit., 
p. 287. 

2 Bek op. cit., pp. 59, 74. ^ Hist, of Southeastern Missouri, p. 282. 

1 MS of Father Helias d'Huddeghem, in St. Louis U. Collection. 

s Schmolder, op. cit., p. 96. 

« Hist, of Southeastern Missouri, p. 282. ' Schmolder, op. cit., pp. 59, 142-44- 


that was not considered especially desirable, as at Hermann, Dutzow, 
Wittenberg, and New Offenburg. 

The chief geographic bases of German settlement in Missouri, besides 
the frontier location, were the accessibility of the region from Europe by 
way of New Orleans and the Mississippi River, the low cost of land, and 
the similarity of soil, climate, and vegetation to conditions in their 
native country. This immigration antedated the construction of western 
railroads and also, in the main, of canals between the Great Lakes and 
the Mississippi Valley. The state of Missouri was reached more easily, 
therefore, than the states farther north and also more easily than large 
tracts of more desirable land farther east. The majority of the new- 
comers established themselves on the river hills. The bottoms, both of 
the Missouri and of the larger creeks, were farmed by older American 
settlers. In 1859 the distribution was thus characterized: "In the 
older, especially the German settlements, all of the good river hill land 
is occupied. The Americans to make large plantations, seize upon the 
bottoms first, and then the prairies, and leave room in the so-called hills 
for the German."' The reasons for their location are as follows : (i) On 
the river bluffs the German immigrants found cheap land. (2) This land 
.was near the older settlements and convenient to river transportation. 
(3) These locations were said to be preferred by the Germans because 
they were most healthful.^ The Dutzow settlement was recommended 
because of its elevated position.^ An emigrants' guide, published by one 
of their number, warned especially against locating in the bottoms before 
acclimatization had taken place.'' (4) As charm of location was an 
important factor in determining the site of Duden's frontier retreat, 
so subsequently those romantically inclined found, along the bluffs of 
the Missouri, sites that needed but ruined castles to duplicate the valley 
of the Rhine. This romantic factor seems to have determined a number 
of locations.5 (5) Much of the land was better than its reputation. It 
was said: "The Americans reproach the Germans for selecting the very 
poorest land."* A German settler, however, after nearly twenty-five 
years of experience on a river-hill farm, felt no regrets. He said that, 
whereas the pioneer American farmer often ruined such farms in a little 
while, the German founded here the most valuable plantations.'' Most 

' Muench, Staat Missouri (1859), pp. 29-30. 

' Zimmermann, Missouri Hist. Rev., IX, 41. 

3 Schmolder, op. ciL, p. 92. 

-» Muench, op. ciL, p. 27. * Zimmermann, loc. cit. 

s Ibid., pp. 29-30. ' Muench, op. cit., p. 29. 


of this hill land was veneered with loess but had been avoided by the 
American because of its uneven surface. The German, however, who 
was accustomed to careful farming on a small scale was able to cultivate 
the hill soil so as to avoid erosion and was willing to expend upon it the 
additional labor which its topography required. Properly tilled, the 
bluff lands yielded excellent regular returns. The settler was able, there- 
fore, not only to establish himself at small outlay, but to save a surplus 
and later to buy more desirable lands. 

The expectations of the early settlers were disappointed in numerous 
respects, and in time the less steadfast were weeded out. (i) "Scarcely 
had the Germans taken foot, when hard times, lasting through several 
years, set in, ... . times too severe for a part of the German element 
who had come with highest hopes.'" (2) Settlers who came expecting 
to find the conditions which Duden had portrayed found themselves 
disillusioned. ^^ (3) Some of the communal colonies were mismanaged 
and the participants lost part or all of their possessions. The Stephan- 
ists discovered that the apostolic simplicity of communistic living was 
ill-adapted to the American West. (4) The most serious handicap lay 
in the training and aptitude of those settlers who possessed education 
and social station. Some of the wealthier attempted to set up fine 
estates and lived as gentlemen of leisure, with the result that their for- 
tunes were dissipated. The great majority set out to live in accordance 
with the democratic ideals which they professed, but they lacked adapt- 
ability to frontier conditions. Men undertook to do the hard labor of 
clearing and cultivating who had never lifted an ax nor held a plow. 
One who knew his way through the mazes of the heavenly constellations, 
and continued in his log cabin his astronomical studies, would lose his 
way in his own neighborhood. Even if their bodies became hardened to 
the task, in many cases they were unable to develop the necessary farming 
sense. Others tired of the Arcadian simplicity which they had come so 
far to find. Thus in large part the intellectuals failed. "Not many held 
out under the hardships of pioneer life. Sooner or later they sought and 
found for the most part in the cities occupations better suited to their 
abilities. "3 Some helped in the development of cities such as Washing- 
ton, Boonville, Jefferson City, and Hermann. Most of them went to 
St. Louis, and many there retrieved brilliantly their previous failure. 
Those who remained and forged ahead were mostly of the peasant class 
and were inured to hard labor and scant living. 

I Muench, op. cit., p. 19. ' Oelshausen, Staat Missouri, pp. i47~48- 

» Muench, Mississippi Blaetter, June 15, 19 15. 


An important step toward the success of the German settlements was 
the introduction of wine-growing at Hermann by immigrants from the 
Rhine. In 1845 there were 50,000 vines at this place; in 1846, 150,000; 
in 1848, 500,000; and in 1849, 700,000. In the last-mentioned year it 
was predicted that the wine crop of a few townships in Gasconade County 
would be of greater value than the hemp crop of the state. ^ The success 
of grapes at Hermann led to the extensive planting of vineyards at Ste. 
Genevieve, at Boonville, and in Franklin, Warren, and St. Charles coun- 
ties.^ The vineyards were located on loess hillsides,^ which afforded 
warm soil, excellent drainage, and protection from unseasonable frosts. 
They were supposed by vintners of the time to benefit by their nearness 
to a large stream. The climate was said to be better than in the Rhine 
country because of the sunny fall weather, which permitted the grapes to 
ripen with high flavor.'' Previous to the introduction of the grape, 
Hermann, with its mediocre farmland, had been losing by emigration. 
The splendid harvest of the year 1848 caused people to seek again this 
place,5 and thereafter the community flourished. In 1856 a yield of 
100,000 gallons was reported for Hermann at a profit of $300 per acre and 
of 6,000 gallons for Boonville.^ In 1857 Hermann claimed a production 
of 80,000 gallons' and in 1858 of 25,000 gallons, which was said to be 
an average yield.^ The price, originally about $2 a gallon, had fallen by 
1858 to $1.25,9 which still enabled very profitable production. In 
spite of the vicissitudes of grape culture Hermann adhered to this 
occupation. A large wine trade was built up ; a local wine cellar became 
one of the sights of the state; and Hermann wines became known 
throughout the country. 


After 1848-49 the immigrants were mostly of the peasant class, 
recruited from north, south, and middle Germany, Switzerland, and 
Alsace, and they came for the primary purpose of bettering their eco- 
nomic condition. The large surplus rural population of Germany 

' Western Journal and Civilian, III, 53-54. 
" Muench, Staat Missouri, p. 138. 

3 Swallow, Geol. Rept. of Southwestern Branch of the Pacific Railroad of Missouri, 
p. 10. 

4 Baudissin, Der Ansiedler im Missouri Staate, pp. 89-90. 

5 Ibid. 

6 Swallow, op. cit., p. 18. * Ibid., XL, 128. 

7 Hunt's Merchants' Mag., XXXIX, 385. » Ibid. 


resulted in rapid emigration, which spread over many states in this 
country, and of which Missouri, containing numerous estabhshed Ger- 
man settlements and much cheap land, received its share. In i860 there 
were 95,000 people of German birth in the state, of whom Franklin 
County had 4,951; Gasconade, 3,137; Cape Girardeau, 2,843; Jeffer- 
son, 2,112; Cole, 2,069; Osage, 2,057; Cooper, 1,923; Perry, 1,800; 
and Ste. Genevieve, 1,231.' Figures including those born in America of 
German parentage would be considerably higher. Large-scale immigra- 
tion ceased nearly fifty years ago. Land became too high-priced for 
indigent immigrants. Moreover, the development of industries in Ger- 
many subsequent to 1870 furnished occupation for the surplus rural 

The expansion of the German settlements has been in the main by 
compact growth along stream courses and from poor to better land. 
The immigrants were clannish and settled amid the older German com- 
munities of eastern Missouri. These people worked harder and lived 
on less than the Americans, and so gradually accumulated wealth with 
which they bought out their American neighbors, who were owners of 
rich bottoms or prairie land. Muench described the process of expansion 
in 1859 thus: "The Germans located first along the valleys, intruding 
themselves between the Americans, here and there accumulating greater 
numbers, so that settlements wholly or mostly German were formed, 
which expanded more and more in all directions. The Americans either 
find it to their advantage to sell their land to the Germans, or do so 
because they do not like to live among the Germans."^ The American 
of the early days felt slight attachment to his homestead and was usually 
ready to seek a new home farther west. It was said of him : " The whole 
country is the fatherland to which he is attached; the place of habitation 
is of subordinate importance. "^ The German, on the other hand, was 
decidedly not a frontiersman and was willing to pay a good price for the 
privilege of living near his countrymen.^ This process of displacement 
continued until nearly the whole Missouri River Border and a large part 
of the Mississippi River Border were occupied by settlers of German 

By 1859 the German settlements of Washington and Hermann had 
become important towns; Jefferson City was half German, and Boonville 

' Census of i860. ^ Muench, o/*. c//. (1859), p. 76. 

3 Oelshausen, op. ciL, p. 67. 

^ Baudissin, op. cit., p. 161; Zimmermann, loc. cii. 


one-fourth.' German was taught in the schools of Hermann, Wash- 
ington, and Jefferson City.^ By this time many German farmers had 
purchased Missouri River bottom farms.^ In time they occupied the 
great majority of farms in the Missouri flood plain as far as the Boonslick 
country, into which they penetrated only in Cooper County. Similarly 
the creek bottoms and ridge lands near the Missouri passed into German 
hands. St. Charles, Franklin, Warren, Gasconade, and Osage counties 
became overwhelmingly German. In 1888 a biographical record of 
Gasconade County' included 131 men of German birth or parentage as 
against 9 native Americans. In Franklin County there were enumerated 
168 of German stock against about one hundred of all other sources. 
Cole County was estimated to be half German in 1875.^ 

Except for a large colony on the prairie at Cole Camp in Benton 
County^ the German settlements did not extend much beyond the river 
tier of counties. In Crawford and Phelps counties they are found on the 
headwaters of the Bourbeuse, and in Maries County they have occupied 
most of the bottom farms of the Big and Little Maries. Their expansion 
south from the Missouri ceased at the edge of the rough country, as had 
that of the original American immigration at an earlier date. 

In the Mississippi River Border they acquired a majority in Ste. 
Genevieve, Cape Girardeau, and Perry counties, and a strong minority 
in Jefferson County. In this region they occupied most of the Spring- 
field and loess lands and a large part of the Hagerstown and alluvial 
lands. In the vicinity of Farmington and Fredericktown numerous 
families settled in the rich basins of Fredericktown soil, and thereby 
introduced after a time a German element into these two cities. Farther 
west the poor land of the igneous knobs and flint hills blocked further 

As the river districts became densely populated they in turn founded 
daughter-colonies farther west, where land was cheaper. Most of these 
were in the loess districts of Jefferson and Saline counties, western Mis- 
souri, and in Brown County, Kansas. Later southwest Missouri, espe- 
cially the fertile prairies of Lawrence County, received a considerable 
immigration from the river counties. At present St. Louis is attracting 
many, but the percentage which is leaving the farm for the city is not 

' Muench, op. cit., p. 205. 

^/6i(i., pp. 164-65. ^ Ibid.,p. 2^. 

* Hist, of Franklin and Jejferson Counties. 

s Muench, Staat Missouri (1875), p. 140. * Ibid., p. 136. 



SO great as among the Anglo-American stock. The large infusion of 
German blood into the river counties of the state is shown in Fig. 27. 

Stability remains the most distinguishing characteristic of the Ger- 
man stock. Where Germans have located in most cases they have 
remained. The selling of real estate is not a thriving business in their 
communities. Property is handed down from father to son, and in many 

10 10 15 fit cf.i 

15 TO 25 PES CEXT 

g22j 25 TO 35 PfR CENT 

Fig. 27. — Distribution of population in Missouri of foreign birth or parentage. 
This figure does not show racial extraction beyond the second generation {Thirteenth 
Census, Statistical Atlas, plate on p. 166b). 

cases the descendants of the original entrymen still retain the land. 
Because of this stability of ownership their improvements surpass in 
durability, if not in elegance, those of any other group of farmers. They 
build by preference of stone or brick. Where good stone is available, as 
at Westphalia and Hermann, one sees not only stone houses, but stone 
barns, sheds, and fences. Their towns, built of high houses situated 


directly on the streets, which are paved and carefully kept, haye decidedly 
an Old World appearance. They still have the reputation of being the 
most careful farmers and are rather slow to adopt innoyations, but they 
are ready to make changes the merit of which is fully demonstrated. 
They retain in large part the faith of their fathers, as they do their 
language. The degree of racial tenacity is not dependent upon the 
place of extraction, whether Low or High German, Swiss or Prussian, 
but upon the compactness and isolation of the settlement. Rural 
communities, remote from railroads, as Westphalia and Altenburg, 
may be nearly as pronouncedly German as they were at the date of their 
founding, more than eighty years ago. The railroad towns, on the other 
hand, are by their superior accessibility losing their German traits 




The greater part of the Ozark Highland consists of unimproved, so- 
called wild land, covered with forest or brush. This land either has 
steep slopes or is so remote from lines of transportation that it has not 
been profitable to clear it. As shown in Fig. 28, all the larger streams, 

Fig. 28. — ^Land too rough for field cultivation. Shaded areas indicate majority 
of surface too rough (Marbut, U.S. Bur. Soils, Field Reports, 191 1). 

except the Mississippi and Missouri, are bordered by a wide belt of 
rugged hill country, which in the main is unsuited to field cultivation. 
The areas of wild land are largest in the Courtois Hills and in the Osage- 
Gasconade Hills. Next in order are the White River Hills and the 

' All statistics in Part III, unless otherwise noted, are from the Thirteenth Census. 
Personal observation in detail does not extend beyond the year 1916. Since then 
economic values, here as elsewhere, have been greatly disturbed. The economic 
conditions brought about by the recent war are not considered here. They have of 
course been serious, especially in the draining off of population to industrial centers 
outside of the Ozarks. Changes have been less revolutionary, however, than in less 
isolated districts. Occupations are essentially unchanged, and even prices have 
been less affected than elsewhere. 



St. Francois region. In the Clarksville soil areas of the Courtois and 
Osage-Gasconade regions probably not much more than i per cent of the 
land is cleared. Areas half a dozen miles square have no upland clearings 
larger than five or six acres. On some of the ridges in these sections one 
can travel a dozen miles without seeing a field or a house. Fig. 29 
represents the distribution of cleared land in a small Clarksville soil 
area of the eastern border. The clearings are limited to coves in valleys 
and a few ridge crests. Though small and discontinuous, they are 
more numerous than in similar areas in the interior of the Ozarks. 
The table below shows the small amount of improved land in the hill 
sections as compared with the border regions and the Central Plateau. 
The Springfield Plain has the least unimproved land of any part of the 
Ozarks. Percentage of total area of improved farm land for selected 
counties is as follows: 

Percent- Percent- 

Missouri River Border 

Cooper 76 

Cole 51 

Franklin 47 

Gasconade 38 

Mississippi River Border 

Cape Girardeau 60 

Perry 53 

Jefferson 40 

Ste. Genevieve 34 

Springfield Plain 

Lawrence 74 

Greene 71 

Jasper 67 

Newton 55 

St. Francois Region 

St. Francois 33 

Courtois Hills 

Crawford 24 

Wayne 19 

Reynolds 11 

Shannon 10 

Carter 9 

St. Francois and Courtois Regions 

Madison 21 

Washington 20 

Iron 14 

Osage-Gasconade Hills 

Pulaski 27 

Camden 25 

White River Hills 

Stone 27 

Taney 16 

Central Plateau 

Polk 52 

Webster 48 

DaUas 44 

Howell 30 

Central Plateau and Courtois Hills 

Oregon 22 

Ripley 19 

Central Plateau and White River 
Ozark 19 

The greater part of the wild land belongs to farms, which contain 
as a rule a far smaller combined acreage of fields and cleared pastures 
than they do of woods (Figs. 31,32). Especially in the poorer counties 



( \) a ear c J /an J 

the woodlands belonging to farms form forests miles in extent, in which 
many individual holdings are included. The unimproved land is held 
in small esteem. Land is valued usually according to its agricultural 
productiveness, and land not suited for cultivation brings a nominal 
price, rarely in excess of five dollars an acre and often much less. Farm- 
ers not uncommonly state as the size of their farms the acreage of cleared 
land, the rest being considered negligible, although it may be much the 
larger part. 

Fig. 30 shows the percentage of land area in farms. In Carter and 
Reynolds counties the 
percentage is only 27.5. 
In these counties large 
tracts, in a number of in- 
stances tens of thousands 
of acres, are owned by 
nonresidents. Companies 
have bought land for 
lumber, for mineral pros- 
pects, or merely for spec- 
ulative purposes. Most 
of it was secured very 
cheaply, some under the 
Graduation Act for 12^ 
cents per acre and some 
at sheriff's sales, on the 
assumption that any land 
purchased at such prices 
must be a profitable in- 
vestment. In some of the hill counties there remain small areas of 
public land. 

Fig. 29. — Relation of cleared land to forest in 
a portion of the Clarksville soil area. Clearings 
are of two types only, those on ridge tops and those 
on valley floors. 


Timber is the most important resource and the chief product of the 
wild land. In the Courtois Hills forest products exceed farm crops in 

Pine timber, long the most valuable forest product, is approaching 
exhaustion rapidly, due to its exploitation for nearly a century. The 
large pine forests of early days have long since disappeared and are 
succeeded mainly by oaks. In remote parts of the southern counties 
small stands on poor uplands have escaped destruction. In Douglas 


County, on the state boundary, there is a pine forest which was estimated 
some years since to contain i per cent of the timber of the county.^ 
In 1904 pine was estimated to represent 8 per cent of the timber of Taney 
County, which is in one of the most difficultly accessible parts of the 
Ozark Highland.^ In recent years the cutting of pine timber has been 
perhaps most extensive in the rough hills of Reynolds, Shannon, and 

Fig. 30. — Percentage of land in farms in Missouri (Thirteenth Census, Statistical 

Carter counties, with Birch Tree, Winona, and Grandin the leading 
lumber camps.^ This southern part of the Courtois Hills is tapped by 
logging railroads which connect with the main line of the Iron Mountain 
Railroad. These roads are extended from time to time into areas of 
uncut timber. Their construction has not been so difficult a matter 
as the broken topography would indicate. The roads have been built 

^ State of Missouri (1904), p. 382. 
^ Ibid., p. 526. 

3 Ibid., p. 517. 



invariably along the even crests of the old peneplain, and, although their 
courses are sinuous, expensive grading is not necessary. According to 
the very fragmentary figures which are available, Reynolds and Shan- 
non counties are still the leading producers of lumber, their shipments 
in 191 2 amounting to 30,244,000 and 21,020,000 feet respectively, mostly 
pine lumber/ The stationary mills are able to maintain themselves only 
where lumber may be floated down from large areas or where it is carried 

i I noittW«Xnl50^3tHO-l'»9CniI"30-'W^^ 1X0-119 

QDni fio-iigHmiioo-ioeBllLewiuv-ioo 

Fig. 31. — Average size of farms in acres 

in by logging railroads. As all these favored locations have been 
exploited to a considerable degree, the days of large operators are draw- 
ing to a close rapidly. Pine lumber is being cut to an increasing extent 
by small portable mills which can operate economically on small tracts 
at great distances from the railroad. 

The predominance of oak timber in the Ozark forests is becoming 
more marked from year to year, partially because of its resistance to 
fire and its success in coppicing and consequent survival in cut-over 

' State Bureau of Labor Statistics, Missouri, igi2, 191 3, 1914. 


tracts. The other kinds of timber, such as hickory, walnut, sugar 
maple, tulip tree, and gum, are chiefly in very mixed stands, in small 
groves on the lower valley slopes. The high value of walnut and tulip 
wood has resulted in the removal of much of this timber. 

The exploitation of the hardwoods is carried on for the most part by 
small occasional operators, as the mixed sizes of most of the timber do 
not favor the logging off of large tracts. A conspicuous exception is in 
Crawford and Iron counties, where an extension of the Sligo and Eastern 
Railroad has been constructed, primarily to secure fuel for the charcoal too HE 90-to 99 1*3 80 to 69 

Fig. 32. — Average number of acres of improved land per farm 

furnaces at Sligo. Here clean cutting is practiced. The small timber is 
used for charcoal, the larger is cuf into ties and saw logs. A[late 
development in clean cutting on a large scale is by the elaborate wood- 
distilling plant at Midco, Carter County. 

Ties are the most important hardwood product of the Ozarks. They 
are cut preferably from white or post oak, but other oak also is used 
extensively. All sections except the Springfield Plain are important 
producers. In 191 2 twenty-five counties reported shipments in excess 
of 100,000 ties each. According to figures compiled by railroad-station 


agents, Douglas County shipped in this year 1,500,000 ties; Crawford, 
837,000; Ripley, 808,000; Wayne, 750,000; Iron, 536,000; and Stone, 
500,000.' Production is largest at present in the more isolated sections, 
as the continued demand, especially by railroads operating in the prairie 
country to the north and west, has resulted in the rapid depletion of tie 
timber in the more accessible counties. The possibility of floating ties 
out has made tie cutting profitable at long distances from a railroad. 
The returns of the industry are paid out mostly for labor in cutting and 
hauling. Ties at rail points in 1914 brought commonly twenty-five to 
forty-five cents each, but on the stump rarely more than ten cents and 
in many cases only five. The difference paid the cost of making and 
transportation and the commission of the contractor. Ties are made in 
three ways: (i) in winter, by farmers who thus find occupation on their 
wood lots for an otherwise non-productive season, (2) at sawmills, 
usually as a by-product, from timber too small to be used for saw logs, 
and (3) by "tie hackers." These work either in the employ of tie con- 
tractors or independently. They usually build shacks in the forest, 
where they live in primitive and lonely fashion. Tie hackers are looked 
down upon by the farming population and often are a somewhat lawless 
element. When the tie timber has been exhausted at one locality, they 
move to another, rarely remaining at one place more than a few years. 
They accumulate few possessions and develop slight social inclinations. 
Finished ties either are hauled by wagon to a railroad station, usually 
much to the detriment of the roads, or are floated down a stream. Often 
they are piled high along the banks of small creeks, and when the stream 
rises sufficiently the ties are pushed in hurriedly, so that they may be 
carried out to a larger stream before the water recedes. Plate XV a 
is a scene from Crawford County; all available hands are helping, 
although it is Sunday, usually observed strictly, in order to get the ties 
down the fast-falling creek. On the river ties are made into rafts and 
floated many miles to a convenient railroad point. The rafting of ties 
is especially important on the Osage River, largely to the railhead at 

Poles, posts, and mine props are produced according to demand. 
The largest shipments of poles and posts were from Douglas County, 
which sent out 2,000,000 in 1912.^ The local demand for telephone 
poles and fence posts is supplied easily in nearly every vicinity. In 
addition cedar posts are shipped to distant markets, principally from 
the glade lands. Mine timbers are cut from small stock. Because of 

' Missouri, 191 2, 191 3, 191 4. ^ Ihid. 


the abundant supply and low price, usually about two cents a linear 
foot, they are produced only in those border counties which are near 
mining regions. The Missouri River Border sends large numbers to 
the coal mines of northern Missouri. 

Cooperage is produced in stave mills in many places. As good oak 
lumber is required, the mills rarely remain at one place more than a few 
years, after which they seek a new location where the large timber has 
not been cut. According to available statistics the industry of 1912 was 
prosecuted most vigorously in Bollinger County, which shipped out 
1,116 cars of cooperage. Cape Girardeau shipped 372 cars and Rey- 
nolds 104.' In a few places specialty wood products are made of oak 
lumber, such as flooring for railroad cars and telephone and telegraph 
brackets. A number of handle factories create a local demand for 
second-growth hickory. 

In addition to the fuel produced for the Sligo iron industry, charcoal 
is made especially in Jefferson County, which shipped 284 cars in 1912; 
Osage, 72; Cole, 55; and Pulaski, 28. These counties have direct rail 
connections with St. Louis and Kansas City, where charcoal finds ready 
sale. The charcoal is made mostly from small timber. Wood is the 
only fuel used on most farms and is also employed much more largely 
than coal in most villages and small cities. 


Hunting and trapping are no longer oi much commercial significance, 
the professional hunter and trapper being virtually extinct. In remote 
sections hunting is still an important part of farm life. By his gun 
and traps the native of the hills secures a considerable part of his supply 
of fresh meat as well as peltry to trade in at the country store. In many 
of the hill sections the settler still asserts, regardless of state laws, the 
right of the frontiersman to hunt when, where, and how he pleases and 
maintains the same freedom for his hunting associate, the hound. The 
more poorly developed the country the greater is the number of hounds 
kept. In many cases these procure the principal part of their food from 
the forests, and are therefore very destructive, especially of young game 
and eggs. Potentially the Ozarks are a magnificent game preserve for 
the fast-disappearing wild life of the Middle West. Before this can take 
place, however, the native of the hills must realize more fully that he 
can no longer be a law unto himself and that he must restrain his gun and 
his dogs in accordance with the game laws of the state. 

' Missouri, 1912, igij, 1914. 


In the mind of many natives of the Ozark Center laws of trespass do 
not exist for the wild land. Whatever land is not farmed is considered 
semipublic property, in which one may hunt and graze his stock and 
which may supply in some cases the household needs of fuel. The 
natives will not hesitate to lay ax to a bee tree or to one on which a 
raccoon has taken refuge. Foreign landowners who attempt to exclude 
them from the free passage and use of wooded lands commonly meet with 
strong resentment and occasionally with resistance. It has happened 
that a large cut-over tract, which was fenced for pasturage, has had its 
fences cut to shreds repeatedly because the neighboring small farmers 
felt that they had a right to pasture their stock on it. This attitude is 
a relic of pioneer days, when the settler, at best, held title to forty or 
eighty acres and derived most of his livelihood from the public domain. 


A large part of the wild land still constitutes a free range. Stock 
law, which makes the owner responsible for all unconfined stock, has 
been introduced only in the better parts of the border regions, and usually 
only after a spirited contest between the farmers interested in crop raising 
and the poorer farmers of the old regime. Elsewhere whatever land is 
not under fence is free to anybody's stock. Most of the range is very 
poor, especially for cattle. The grass-covered hills of the early days have 
been replaced for the most part by a dense growth of oak sprouts. 
The ceasing of grass fires, the clearing of smooth land, and the over- 
grazing of the remaining area have caused the famous bluestem pasture 
grass of the early days to become nearly extinct. In a few remote sec- 
tions of the southern counties cattle still do well on the range. The 
nature of the range in most parts, however, is such that the production 
of beef of good quality is out of the question. In spite of the poor graz- 
ing the small amount of care which stock requires on the free range 
still makes it the principal factor in stock production in the interior 
sections. As long as the stock finds enough feed for subsistence the 
farmers will not trouble to fence and seed pastures. As long as cattle 
roam at will accidental breeding prevents the grading up of stock to any 
great degree. This pioneer custom therefore is incompatible with pro- 
gressive agriculture. 

For the raising of hogs conditions are much better, as the abundance 
of acorns and other mast makes the average range fairly good. The 
region produces few fat hogs, because of the small amount of corn which is 
fed, but yields a very fair bacon type, which is produced at almost no 


cost. In a typical case a farmer sold $500 worth of hogs, to which he had 
fed altogether only twelve bushels of corn and which had received almost 
no care. The half- wild hog of the hills is of lighter weight and worth 
less than the corn-fed hog. In 1909 the average value of a hog in corn- 
producing Cooper County was $7.60; in the oak forests of Shannon 
only $4.20. The range hogs are remarkably free from disease, and it 
is claimed that they seldom are attacked by cholera. 

Stock usually is marked in early spring, the mark of the owner hav- 
ing been recorded at the courthouse. Thereafter the animals receive 
little attention, except an occasional salting, until winter. Bells are 
attached to the leaders of the herd so that the farmer can locate his 
animals. Nearly everywhere, even in the most isolated woods, one 
hears the tinkle of bells, which are attached to cattle, horses, sheep, and 
turkeys. In some sections cattle still are driven to distant townships 
or to a neighboring county when the grazing at home becomes scant. 


The large areas of cheap land have given rise from time to time to 
promotion schemes. For this business the region possesses unusual 
inducements. The Ozarks are near large centers of population. They 
have an attractive climate, especially to northern people. The region 
has a certain reputation for fruit growing. The pleasant scenery delights 
city people who think of country life in romantic terms. In the hands 
of skilful manipulators, well-selected illustrations and half-truths are 
elaborated artfully from these points of attraction. Visions of comfort- 
able country homes are held out to city clerks and tradesmen who have 
tired of the precariousness and routine of their present occupations. 
Fruit orchards, chicken farms, cattle and hog ranches, are the favorite 
projects promoted. Usually the very poorest land, which even the 
natives have avoided, is chosen. This is either laid out in small tracts 
of five to forty acres, or a stock company sells shares in a very large 
tract. In either case the profits are figured on the basis of a high per 
acre productiveness. In this way land has been sold for fruit orchards 
on which trees could have been planted only by blasting holes, and 
chicken ranches have been promoted in inaccessible localities where the 
production of grain is an impossibility and even grass grows with diffi- 
culty. Some of the land which has been sold for purposes of intensive 
farming is so rough that it is impossible to drive a wagon over it. If 
properly managed, the companies clear many hundred per cent, and the 
investor is left with a tract of land that is nearly worthless because it is 


poor and is too small to be put to any practical use. Much of the 
land is sold for taxes after the owners are disillusioned. In numerous 
cases the owner, who has not seen the land, has decided to quit his posi- 
tion and move to his " farm." By the time he is established on the place 
a large part of his savings is gone, and in the course of a short time the 
remainder is lost in the hopeless effort to produce a living there. Finally 
the settler is reduced to doing odd jobs in the vicinity at very low wages, 
or, if fortunate, returns to the city to begin over. The promotion of 
these schemes has not only unloaded on the region families who have 
become its wards, but has discredited the Ozarks entirely in the minds 
of many people, in spite of their not inconsiderable possibilities of 
successful development. 



With the exception of Atchinson County in northwestern Missouri, 
which contains one of the largest farms in the world, the largest average 
farms of the state are in the Mississippi and Missouri borders of the 
Ozarks. In 1910 Ste. Genevieve County led with an average of 186.8 
acres, then came Osage with 172, Warren with 171, and Gasconade with 
163 .8 (Fig. 31). The average size for the state was 124.8 acres. The 
largest acreages are in counties which contain fair-sized areas of moder- 
ately good farmland adjacent to larger areas of rough hill land. The 
farmers of these counties cultivate about the same number of acres as 
those of the other border sections or a somewhat smaller acreage, but 
their farms are larger because there is more rough land. The smallest 
farms of the Ozarks are in the Springfield Plain, where non-agricultural 
land is least in amount. In Greene County, which contains not only a 
high percentage of good land but also has developed truck and fruit 
farming, the average farm has only 86 . 9 acres. 

Fig. 3 2 shows the average acres of improved land to each farm, and 
supplements Fig. 31. Of forty- two counties of Missouri having more 
than one hundred acres improved per farm, only one. Cooper, is included 
in the Ozark region, and it is decidedly intermediate in character between 
highland and prairie plains. Of the twelve counties in the state aver- 
aging less than fifty acres improved to the farm, nine are in the Ozarks, 
two in the swamp district of southeast Missouri, and the remaining 
one is St. Louis County. Of those in the Ozarks, five are in the Courtois 
Hills, three in the White River Basin, and one in the Osage-Gasconade 
Hills. The small improved acreage in these counties is the result of the 
following factors: (i) The small amount of cultivable land available in 
compact bodies makes large fields impossible. (2) The hill land requires 
more labor in cultivation than prairie or bottom land and does not admit 
so readily of the use of machinery. (3) The difficulty of marketing 
field crops from the more remote sections discourages production and so 
tends to keep down the acreage of tilled land. (4) Poor yields from poor 
soils are not conducive to large-scale farming. (5) Many farms have 
been opened recently and the size of their clearings is still small. 


In parts of the Ozark Highland there is a marked increase in improved 
land from year to year, indicating that the frontier stage is not yet past. 
In Carter, Laclede, Maries, Miller, Oregon, Ripley, Shannon, Webster, 
and Wright counties this increase has been 25 per cent or more from 1900 
to 1910. The increase has been approximately 35 per cent in Maries 
County, where the Rock Island Railroad made accessible at that period 
a large area of fairly smooth upland, which previously was remote from 
lines of transportation. In general, the extension of cultivated land is 
greatest at present in the Central Plateau, where there still remain many 
tracts of smooth upland, mostly of cherty Howell soil, which if cleared 
make fairly satisfactory fields and pastures. These tracts, for the most 
part, are at points most distant from rail transportation. Plate XV h 
illustrates such a clearing in Howell County. In the southern part of 
the Springfield Plain, especially in McDonald and Newton counties, 
there has been extensive clearing of land lately, in part because of the 
building of the Missouri and North Arkansas Railroad, in part because 
of the attention which fruit and truck growing is receiving in this section. 
In the Missouri River Border the increase for the decade ranges from 3 per 
cent in maturely developed Cooper County to 1 5 in Gasconade County, 
which has benefited considerably by the building of the Rock Island 
Railroad through its southern end. In the St. Francois region the 
extension of farmmg area has been almost nil because the rich limestone 
soils of the Fredericktown basins have been under cultivation a long time 
and the igneous rock soils are pemanently non-agricultural. Because 
of the extension of mining operations St. Francois County has even 
registered a slight decrease in its farm area. In the border counties the 
increase in cleared land is mostly by the addition of small patches to 
existing fields or farms. In the remote sections, especially of the south, 
however, one may still see numerous recent homesteads, which consist 
of small log houses standing in the midst of a forest of dead trees, between 
which corn has been planted. Plate XVI a shows the first crop of corn 
in a clearing that has been made by cutting out the brush and saplings 
and by girdling the larger trees. 

Values of farmland vary with fertility of soil, proportion of culti- 
vable land, and facilities for marketing. As shown in Fig. 33, the highest 
land values of the state are in the suburban districts of the large cities, 
in the rich northwestern counties, and in the loess counties of the Mis- 
souri Valley below Kansas City. Cooper, Jasper, and Greene, alone of 
the Ozark counties, exceed the average value of Missouri farmland. 
In Cooper County, with its loess soils and large stock industry, which 


belongs as much to the prairie region as to the Ozark Border, the average 
value of farmland in 1910 was $56.45 per acre, and of all property per 
farm $10,513. Jasper County, with excellent local markets at the mines, 
had an average acre value of $52 . 25 and a farm value of $7,500. Greene 
County was third in per acre value with $44 .73. At the other extreme 
are Ozark, Taney, and Shannon counties. Ozark County contains a 
large amount of very rough land, especially on the south; it is also in 

Fig. 33. — Land values in Missouri, 1910 {Thirteenth Census, Historical Atlas) 

one of the most inaccessible sections of the Ozarks and therefore has been 
little developed. It is doubtful, however, whether the county will remain 
in last place, as it has possibilities of development on its extensive up- 
land "flat woods." In Taney County farmland is cheap because of the 
thin, easily eroded Berryville soils and the rough topography. Shannon 
County is in the heart of the Courtois flint hills. The primitive condi- 
tion of agriculture in Ozark County is attested strikingly by an average 
farm value for the county as a whole of $1,662. In this respect Ripley 
County is second, with a value of $2,043. 



The total value of all crops produced in any Ozark county in 1909 
exceeded $1,920,000, the value for the average county in Missouri, only 
in the following counties: 

Missouri River Border 

Cooper $3,096,121 

Franklin 2,934,343 

Springfield Plain 

Greene 2,846,349 

Jasper 2,573,369 

Lawrence 2,557,447 

Newton 2,045,894 

Mississippi River Border 

Jefferson 2,195,193 

Cape Girardeau 2,194,803 

The Courtois Hill region, including the entire area of Reynolds, Ripley, 
Shannon, and Carter counties, produced in the aggregate only a little 
in excess of one average county. 

The extremes of corn production in the Ozarks in 1909 were:^ 

County Bushels County Bushels 

Cooper 3,006,339 Iron 232,239 

Greene 2,019,622 Carter 239,930 

Jasper 2,006,001 Madison 323,145 

Dade 1,810,770 Taney 370,562 

Polk 1,664,850 Stone 441,171 

Moniteau 1,658,078 St. Francois 450,869 

The Ozark Border regions, with their more fertile lands and much larger 
farm areas, are much heavier producers of corn than is the Ozark Center. 
The superiority of the Ozark Border over the Ozark Center is brought 
out more particularly by the following per acre yields (1905-14) in 

' The figures given by the State Board of Agriculture for the ten-year period 1905- 
14 are: Cooper, 2,700,000; Greene, 2,077,000; Jasper, 2,014,000; Polk, 1,667,000; 
Franklin, 1,600,000; Lawrence, 1,589,000; Carter, 239,000; Iron, 298,000; Reynolds, 
331,000; Madison, 422,000; Shannon, 427,000; St. Francois, 432,000. 

^ Stale Board of A gric. Yearbook, 1916. 


Missouri River Border Central Plateau 

Cooper 34 Texas 20 

Franklin 30 Wright 23 

Moniteau 29 Dallas 23 

Mississippi River Border Hill sections 

Cape Girardeau 32 Reynolds 21 

Perry 31 Shannon 21 

Jefferson 32 Douglas 21 

Springfield Plain ^^^^^ ^9 

Greene 27 

Jasper 26 

Lawrence , 26 

Yields in the Springfield Plain are somewhat more likely to be cut down 
by dry weather than in the other border sections. Fig. 33 represents 
the yield of corn per square mile of improved farmland for all counties 
entirely or in part within the Ozarks. This shows the relative impor- 
tance of corn-growing in various sections, as only equal areas which 
are put to productive farm use are compared and the waste land is 
disregarded. The heavy production on the northwestern margin of the 
Ozarks corresponds to the most extensive area of loess soils. In pro- 
portion to the area farmed the southeastern region, which includes four 
of the poorest counties of the state, comes in second place. Considering 
only the area of improved land, the entire Ozark Center ranks high. 
On this basis Camden County, in the poor flint hills of the middle Osage 
Basin, belongs in the same class with wealthy Cooper County. Of the 
total acreage in cereal crops, which in the Ozarks is nearly equivalent to 
the total area of land under field cultivation, corn occupies a much higher 
percentage in the Ozark Center than in the Border. Thus in the border 
regions corn is grown on the following percentages of the total cereal 
area: Cooper 54, Osage 45, Cape Girardeau 52, Perry 46, Greene 59. 
In the central regions, on the other hand, the following extremely high 
percentages are found: Taney 82, Camden 87, Carter 91, and Reynolds 
94. In the poorest part of the state therefore the greatest relative 
attention is paid to the cultivation of corn. The principal reasons are: 
(i) It is to be noted that the southeastern hill counties, as well as Camden 
County, lie in the two most intricately dissected regions of the Ozarks, 
the Courtois and the Osage-Gasconade Hills. In both of these regions 
most of the farmland is in valleys, which include the large and very 
fertile river bottoms of the Osage, Black, Current, and St. Francois. 
These lands are suited splendidly to corn culture. (2) Corn is the tra- 



ditional crop of the hill farmers ; it was produced by their grandfathers, 
and, being conservative because they are hill people, they continue to 
grow it. (3) With their few, cheap tools and the inefficient cultivation 
which is customary on the hill farms, it is probably the most satisfactory 
crop. There are still some farmers, although not many, whose stock of 
tools consist of a one-horse plow, a homemade harrow, and a few hoes. 
(4) Many sections are too distant from the railroad to haul grain to the 
station. In such localities corn growing is combined with stock raising 


"• BA-ffRV'SroKe-, 
~> .' r 


T«v.ifeV j UJtt^RH 

17000 BU- 

6-7 000 8U. 

frfllTJ]} 4-5000 BU. 

3-4000 BO. dU^lll'^S^':' 

Fig. 34. — Yield of corn per square mile of improved farmland 

to the best advantage. (5) Corn is the grainof most general utility for 
household use and stock. Flour, bran, and shorts are not readily pro- 
curable in remote sections. A typical cornfield of the Central Plateau 
is shown in Plate XVI h. 

Wheat is grown most largely in the border sections, as'shown in 
Fig. 35. In the state statistics Franklin ranks second among Missouri 
wheat-growing counties for the period 1905-14. The figures are: Frank- 
lin, 1,016,000 bushels; Jasper, 807,000; Lawrence, 794,000; Cooper, 
740,000. In 1909 Franklin led the counties which belong in major part 
to the Ozarks with 933,000 bushels, Lawrence following with 874,000. 


Carter, Reynolds, Butler, and Shannon counties, of the Ozark Center, 
produced less than 10,000 bushels each. In the hill counties very little 
is produced, in part because of the difficulty of marketing, in part because 
of the difficulty of preparing the seed bed adequately, and largely because 
the farmers are accustomed to grow corn. The greatest attention to 
wheat raising is paid in the eastern counties of the Missouri River Border. 
These contain on the whole less loess and bottom land than the western 


■tevJ T o r 


B<VieRY ISXtalKl 

•I — roNE-rr — oTii\Ki<~ 

--. *BuTu£lt, 

:_; I owe-soH^R'P'i.ey, 

noRe TH/\N 

3 000 BU. 

■niz-3000 au. 

11500-2000 BU. 

^ffl 1000-1500 BU. [IIIII150O-I.O0OBU. ^^^OOSOO 8U.^ 

\ \ 0-xoo eu. 

Fig. 35. — Yield of wheat per square mile of improved farmland 

counties on the Missouri River, and more of the Union, Lebanon, Howell, 
and other second-class clay upland soils. They are therefore not suited 
so well to the growing of corn but are probably adapted equally as well 
to wheat culture. The heavy production of wheat in counties, such as 
St. Charles, Franklin, Warren, and Gasconade, is due, moreover, in large 
measure to the preponderance of German farmers, who are specialists 
in the growing of small grains. On the Mississippi River Border 
conditions are similar. Here too there is a large German population, 
and the extensive areas of upland soils of the Springfield, Hagerstown, 
and Fredericktown groups are well suited to wheat. On the limestone 



prairies of the southwest wheat is an important crop but much less so 
than corn. This land has a " stronger " soil than have the uplands of the 
other border regions. The attention which stock raising receives in the 
district also tends to make corn rather than wheat the principal crop. 
There is of late an increase in wheat culture on the prairies of the Central 
Plateau, the soils of which are somewhat deficient in humus and are 
better suited to wheat as a basic crop than they are to corn. 

(Tmri ^OQ -6QO BU. P^ 200 -WO By. \ I Q'XOO BU 

Fig. 36. — Yield of oats per square mile of improved farmland 

Oats are not produced extensively (Fig. 36) ; whereas for the state as 
a whole their acreage is half that of wheat; for the Springfield Plain, the 
principal producing region in the Ozarks, the ratio is little better than 
one to three. In the Missouri River Border the ratio is less than one to 
five. Largely because crop rotation in corn farming is not practiced 
commonly in the Ozark Center, a field of oats is a rarety in this section. 
As a whole oats are not a profitable crop in southern Missouri, being 
grown chiefly in rotation with corn. As a rule the grain is of lighter 
weight than in more northern states. Yields are low, being less than 
twenty-five bushels on the average in Greene, the county of largest pro- 


In the production of hay the Ozark Center compares very favorably 
with the border sections (Fig. 37). In 1909 Polk County, a large part 
of which belongs to the Central Plateau, led the entire Ozark section in 
total yield, with 47,042 tons from 45,001 acres. On the basis of produc- 
tion per unit area of improved farmland Carter County takes first 
place, with Reynolds and Camden counties devoting nearly as much 
attention to hay farming . The greater relative importance of hay in the 
interior sections is due (i) to the importance of stock raising, (2) to the 
insufficient agricultural labor available and the ease of production of a 
meadow crop, (3) to the grass-growing qualities of the upland clay soils 
and bottom lands of the interior, and (4) to the fact that the mediocre 
soils of the interior produce grass nearly as well as do the better and higher- 
priced lands of the Ozark Border. In 1909 average yields in tons per 
acre for selected counties were: 

Ozark Center Ozark Border 

Laclede o . 93 Greene i . 09 

Crawford i .01 Franklin i . 21 

Polk, 1 . 05 Cooper 1.22 

Carter 1.12 Cape Girardeau 1.27 

The grade of hay produced in the interior counties is poor on the whole 
and consists of timothy, mixed with a large proportion of wild grasses. 
Almost no clover is grown in the interior of the Ozarks, in part 
because of backward conditions in general, and in minor part because 
some of the soil is deficient in lime. Of the 47,042 tons of hay grown in 
Polk County only 863 were clover. In the more progressive border 
regions the value of clover has been well recognized, and in the Missouri 
and Mississippi River borders more clover is produced than in any other 
part of the state. Franklin, with 14,581 tons in 1909, and Jefferson with 
14,195, are the leading clover-growing counties of Missouri. Yields 
nearly as large are reported from Cooper and Cape Girardeau counties. 
The need of rotation with clover has been felt most keenly in the old 
northeastern counties of the Ozarks, as the land here, in large part not 
of the highest fertility originally, has become depleted by long cropping. 
In Jefferson and Franklin counties the extension of dairying is in part 
responsible for the high clover production. As a whole the German 
farmers have taken to the growing of clover most readily, largely because 
they more than any other group consider their farms their permanent 
homes. In the last few years the growing of alfalfa has made rapid 
strides, the bottom lands being found generally suited to this crop with- 



out previous inoculation. The results are too recent to show appreciably 
in census figures, but at present there are few sections of the northern 
and eastern borders in which small fields are not numerous and increas- 
ing rapidly. Alfalfa is also finding favor among the better stock raisers 
of the interior sections, fine fields of it being found in such remote sections 
as Taney and Ozark counties. Because of their rapid growth cowpeas 
are planted usually in June or July in the wheat stubble. They should 
form an important rotation crop for forage and soil restoration but are 


Fig. 37. — Yield of hay per square mile of improved farmland 

not grown to any large extent, except on the poorer uplands of the 
border regions. Most of the alluvial, loess, and limestone soils are well 
adapted to legumes. In most places where they do not succeed the 
corrective is at hand in abundant outcrops of limestone. The general 
introduction of leguminous crops into the farm husbandry appears 
therefore to be only a question of time. 

Millet is a crop of some importance on the poorer lands and is grown 
especially in dry seasons, when the young corn has failed. Sorghum is 
grown chiefly in the Ozark Center. Texas County led the state, report- 
ing, in 1909, 43,510 gallons of syrup. Other important producers are 


Dallas, Miller, Polk, Moniteau, and Cape Girardeau counties. The 
cane grows well on rather poor land, gives high returns per acre, and in 
the more remote sections sorghum syrup still serves as the common 
household sweetening. 

Tobacco growing is nearly extinct. Most of that produced at present 
is for home consumption. Cooper alone of the Ozark counties yielded 
more than 50,000 pounds in 1909. Cotton is grown in the southern 
counties, principally on bottom land. The cotton-growing counties 
lie at the northern limit of production, in the same latitude as the south- 
eastern lowlands of Missouri, in which cotton is one of the chief crops. 
In 1909 Ozark County produced 1,066 bales; Taney, 861; Oregon, 744; 
Ripley, 617; and Howell, 183. Cotton growing, however, receives far 
less attention on these bottom lands than it does in the southeastern 
lowlands, partly because the Ozark valleys are more subject to early 
and late frosts, due to the inflow of cold air from the surrounding 
hills, and partly because the Ozark districts contain almost no negro 


Over large areas stock raising is the dominant occupation. In the 
Central Plateau and in a large part of the hill sections the value of animal 
products commonly exceeds the value of all crops. In the border regions, 
on the other hand, the reverse is true. Comparative figures for selected 
counties are given in the table (p. 199). If figures were available on the 
value of field crops marketed as such, they would establish the fact that 
animal products are the leading output of Ozark farms in all sections with 
the exception of the northeastern and eastern counties and a part of the 
Springfield region. The greatest relative importance of animal industry 
is in the interior. This is due to (i) poor transportation conditions, 
which constitute one of the most serious economic problems of the region, 
(2) the combination of bottom lands which grow corn and hay, and of 
upland pastures, (3) the excellent springs, (4) small amount of labor 
required under primitive conditions in vogue, and (5) the inherited inter- 
est in this occupation. Plate XVII a shows a seeded pasture in the 
interior of the Ozarks which is in striking contrast to the more common 
wild pastures. The stock farmer, alone of the occupants of the Ozark 
Center, is not seriously handicapped by isolation. A good stock farm, 
no matter how far it is from a railroad, may command a hundred dollars 
per acre for its bottom land. There are silos in valleys more than twenty- 
five miles distant from the nearest railroad. Many of these farms sell 



nothing but animal products, and are improving year by year in fertility 
and equipment. 

Fig. 38 shows the number of cattle kept per square mile in the Ozark 
Highland and in the adjacent counties. The corn- and hay-growing 
counties of the west and northwest are the largest producers and yield 
also the best grade of stock. In these sections the animals are fattened 
for market and receive in general the same treatment as in the corn 
belt of Iowa and Ilhnois. Next in importance is the Central Plateau, 
where the extensive grasslands are the chief factor in production 


All Animal Products 

All Crops 

































Central Plateau: 






Hill sections: 







Springfield Plain: 

Greene . . 


Missouri River Border: 



Mississippi River Border: 

Cape Girardeau 

(Plate XVII a). The low rank of the eastern and northern border 
counties is due in part to the good grain markets which they possess, 
in part to the development of dairying rather than of meat produc- 
tion, and in part to the German population, which in this region is 
becoming interested only slowly in stock raising. 

In spite of the great natural advantages the dairy industry has not 
been developed extensively in most parts of the Ozarks (Fig. 39). Jeffer- 
son County, perhaps the poorest county of the Ozark borders, ranks 
first, with dairy products valued at $386,000 in 1909. This figure has 
since been far surpassed. The redemption of this county from poverty 
has been accomplished by dairying. The nearby St. Louis market has 


given the incentive to the industry. The county contains a great deal 
of hill land, which furnishes fair pasturage. It also has sufficient land 
suited for growing corn and hay, and has good water. To the west of 
St. Louis, Franklin County is beginning to develop similarly. The 
southwestern counties supply Springfield and the mining districts with 
dairy products. Excepting these sections there are very few dairies in 
the Ozarks. Physical conditions for dairying are good in all sections, 



Fig. 38. — Number of cattle per square mile 

as shown by examples of individual success,^ but the problem of market- 
ing and the lack of organization retard development. The difficulty 
of transportation has as its effect the conversion of the farm surplus 
of milk into butter. If butter is estimated to be worth on the average 
16 cents per pound in 1909, Douglas County sold $53,000 worth of butter 
out of a total of $56,000 in dairy products. For Ripley County the 
respective figures are $40,000 and $43,000; for Oregon, $57,000 and 
$61,000, and so on. On the other hand regions with good market con- 
nections sell chiefly milk and cream. The butter produced in Jefferson 

^Forty-sixth Ann. Rept. of the State Board of Agric, pp. 403 ~S- 



County was worth only one-fourth of the total value of dairy products 
and that in Greene County about one-half. 

Fig. 40 shows the number of hogs kept in 1909. The distribution of 
hogs corresponds rather closely to the production of corn, and the 
industry is therefore best developed in the Boonslick region of the north- 
west. The counties in the interior which make the best success of hog 
raising are the ones possessing rail transportation. Thus the main line 

U . V — 


Fig. 39. — Dairy products. Each dot represents $2,000 

of the Frisco is outlined by a chain of counties producing more hogs than 
their more inaccessible neighbors. Hogs cannot transport themselves 
so well as cattle, and are not produced so extensively in remote sections. 
Although the country is well adapted to the production of sheep, 
this industry has attained no great importance. In the Ozark Center 
the danger from dogs and the fact that sheep lose themselves in the forests 
are serious handicaps. Laclede County led in 1909 with 26,600. In this 
and other counties there are also numerous herds of goats (Plate XVII b). 
They are shipped in mostly from the southwest, are turned into brushy 
pastures during summer, and are then sent usually to market at St. Louis. 


As the goats destroy the brush and saphngs the land is afterward used 
most commonly as pasture for cattle or sheep. The introduction of 
goats therefore is followed in most cases by an increase in the number of 
other live stock. 

Draft animals in the border region are of medium weight and fair 
quality. In the Missouri Valley mule breeding continues to be impor- 
tant. In the hill regions horses and mules are of inferior grade. Because 
of the steep slopes, the sharp gravel, and the small amount of feed they 


Fig. 40. — Number of hogs per square mile 

receive, there has been evolved a light, wiry, and sure-footed strain which 
is well suited to the needs of the poorer farmers. In much of the hill 
country the average horse or mule is well below a thousand pounds in 
weight. On the Central Plateau some attention is given to horse breeding, 
largely because of the long wagon hauls that are necessary in most parts 
to reach shipping-points, in part because the smooth prairies make 
the employment of good draft animals profitable. Plate XVIII a 
shows a horse show at Licking, a small village on one of the most 
isolated prairies. 



Poultry raising, as shown in Fig. 41, is dependent not so much on 
fertility of soil as upon marketing facilities. In this region, however, 
poultry raising for market is not profitable unless most of the feed is 
produced on the place. There are few exclusive poultry farms. Poultry 
in the Ozarks is a by-product of general farming and subsists mostly on 
what otherwise would be wasted on the farm. In receipts from the sale 
of poultry and eggs Jefferson County leads the state, although it is not 
a large county and is poor in comparison with north Missouri counties. 


Fig. 41. — Value of poultry and eggs. Each dot represents $2,000 

Franklin County is a close second. The money received in Jefferson 
County from poultry and eggs in 1909 was more than that from its 
wheat crop. The eastern counties of the Missouri River Border, which 
are less fertile than the western ones and at the same time have easy 
access to large markets, engage largely in the production of poultry 
and eggs. Where the cattle and hog business prospers, farmers do not 
have time or inclination to devote themselves to the raising of poultry. 
In the less favored counties, however, the poultry business is in many 
cases the deciding factor which makes the farm show a profit instead of 


a deficit. Turkeys are most numerous in the hill sections, where these 
birds, which are efficient foragers, find almost their entire sustenance 
in the woods from spring until fall. At the latter season they are 
fattened on corn and then shipped or driven to market in large numbers. 


The growing of vegetables for market is not pursued extensively 
except in the southwest. The largest single producer in 1909 was Greene 
County with an output worth $210,000. There are numerous market 
gardens also in the neighboring counties of Jasper, Newton, Barry, 
Webster, and Lawrence, all of which have good local markets in the 
Joplin mining region and at Springfield. The southeast is favored also 
in the production of early vegetables for northern markets, because it 
has an early spring, a warm cherty soil which drains well and can be 
worked early, and good rail connections with the north. Many vege- 
tables are grown in this section as filler crops between rows of small 
fruits, which are an important product (see below). Canning industries 
have been extablished recently, and extend the demand for vegetables 
over a longer period. In the vicinity of St. Louis, Jefferson and Franklin 
counties have added truck farming to their other intensified farming 
interests. Jefferson County especially is favored in the growing of 
various vegetables by its large areas of sandy soil. 

Although the Ozarks have been advertised extensively as the "land 
of the big red apple," they take second place to the great loess belt of 
western Missouri, of which Cooper County is the eastern extremity. 
In four adjoining counties of the Ozarks, Greene, Wright (each with 
210,000 bushels in 1909), Texas, and Webster, the most numerous apple 
orchards are to be found. It is not apparent that this region possesses 
advantages over other sections of the Ozarks other than the fact that an 
early start has made the vicinity of Springfield a well-known center for 
apple buyers and that transportation facilities are better than the aver- 
age. Apples, especially winter varieties, do well on all the clay and loam 
soils of the highland and are grown as a rule on less thin and stony 
soils than are peaches. Plate XVIII b shows a typical apple orchard. 
They are located usually on smooth land, and labor-saving machinery 
is employed largely in their care. 

In peach growing a group of southeastern counties is first in the state 
and constitutes one of the important commercial districts of the country. 
The following yields are given for 1909: Oregon County, 117,000 bushels; 
Howell, 78,000; Texas, 68,000; Bollinger, 60,000. Both soil and climate 


are adapted to the production of fruit of sweet flavor and high color, 
which enters the markets after the Georgia peaches are gone and before 
the Michigan fruit is ripe. The trees grow mostly on Howell soil, which 
is warm and well drained because of its high chert content. The reflec- 
tion of light from the chert fragments probably contributes to the high 
color of the peaches. The district lies far enough south tO escape most 
of the late killing frosts. The orchards are located mostly on the upland 
near the edge of a valley, thus providing air drainage which protects 
them from unseasonable frosts. As in the case of apples, commercial 
orchards are not located on rough land on which machinery cannot be 
employed to good advantage. Although the fruit has been known to do 
well in this section for a long time, its successful production on a com- 
mercial scale has had to wait for organization of the growers. The 
largest growers' association has shipping stations at Pomona, Koshko- 
nong, Brandsville, and Thayer. About five thousand people are at present 
employed during the picking season. They are in part professionals 
following the crop season north, but largely natives from the surrounding 
hills who desert their poor farms temporarily for the peach orchards to 
make a few dollars less hard-won than by growing corn on their thin 
lands. For a time there is great activity ; every one is busy during the 
day, and at night traveling shows reap a rich harvest. Thereafter the 
region relapses into quiet until the next season.^ Plate XIX a shows a 
commercial orchard at picking time. 

Recently Missouri strawberries have entered the metropolitan 
markets, and at present about two dozen places, centering about Neosho 
and Monett, are engaged in growing and shipping an annual crop worth 
from $500,000 to $1,000,000. The cherty soil so employed warms up 
quickly and maintains a favorable moisture condition. Most of the 
strawberry land is smooth and easily cultivated. The season lasts about 
a rlionth, from the middle of May to the middle of June, and bridges in 
part the interval between the southern berries and those from Michigan. 
To place the fruit on the market promptly, the railroads operate " straw- 
berry specials" to Kansas City and Chicago. 


Conditions of life in the Ozark Border are in sharp contrast to those 
of the Ozark Center. The border farms are richer, more numerous, 
less scattered, and in closer contact with the outside world than are the 
farms of the hill and plateau sections. 

' Bureau of Labor Statistics, Missouri, igi2, 191 j, 1914, pp. 67-71. 


Farm improvements are generally ample and in good condition in the 
border regions. Most of the dwellings are two-story frame houses, built 
on the conventional plan of western farm dwellings. In the German 
sections they are built largely of stone or brick. The prairies of the 
Central Plateau are similar to the borders in the character of their homes. 
Elsewhere in the interior one finds most commonly low structures, which, 
by their long, built-in porches, show the architecture of the old South. 
Many houses still are built of logs and range from crude one-room cabins 
of rough-hewn, ill-fitted logs to structures built of carefully squared logs, 
joined so well that almost no "chinking" is required (Plate XX). In 
contrast to the factory-made and often garish home furnishings of the 
border farms, the isolated farm of the interior valleys is still fitted largely 
with homemade articles. Many of the better-class homes resemble 
those of more eastern sections of several generations ago. Hickory 
chairs and walnut worm bedsteads are in common use. The housewife 
still knows how to knit rag rugs and to weave coverlets of various 
designs. Quilting is a cherished art in which time-honored patterns are 
used that were evolved on the frontier, or were brought from the southern 
seaboard. The gun still hangs over the fireplace, ready for use, and in a 
corner the spinning wheel may be seen occasionally, as there are some who 
still card their own wool and spin it into thread for jeans. 

Barns as a rule are not large in any part of the highland, except in the 
northwestern counties. On the poor farms of the hill regions they are 
wretched sheds. Here the little hay that is cut is left in the cock, corn 
remains in the field or is put into log cribs, stock seeks its own shelter, 
and small grains are not produced. A barn therefore is an improvement 
of slight value to the hill farmer. The spring house (Plate XIX b) is 
still the favorite place for keeping perishable food. Most cove farmers 
keep their butter and milk in the cavernous openings from which springs 
issue. Rail fences are almost universal, except in the Springfield Plain 
and on the prairies. Plates XXI and XXII a show contrasted types of 
farms on the prairie and in the hills. 

As external circumstances change slowly in the central region, so 
thought and custom have become crystallized through isolation. There 
are no political upheavals in the Ozark Center; its voters can be relied 
on to vote "regular" and to oppose changes in the existing order. The 
church is the one great social institution of the hill regions, and preaching 
and prayer meeting are attended regularly by nearly all. Entertain- 
ments are of the old-fashioned sort, such as spelling matches, quilting 
bees, and dancing to the fiddle. The classic of the frontier, " the Hoosier 


schoolmaster," could still be matched in parts of the Ozarks today. The 
speech of the people is full of homespun epigrams and contains a number 
of obsolete expressions which are probably imported, from the hills of 
Tennessee. In short, whereas the people of the Ozark borders live much 
in the fashion of the surrounding prairie states, the interior is still in 
many respects a remnant of the frontier and has preserved conditions of 
life which in most other regions belonged to past generations. In this 
respect it is similar to the hills of Kentucky and Tennessee, but as the 
isolation of the Ozarks has been less effective the degree of retardation 
is less. The backward condition of the interior regions is heightened by 
the fact that the settlers came originally from eastern Tennessee or 
Kentucky, and were in a backward state at the time of their immigration 

to Missouri. 

In the hill sections there is a sharp difference between the farmer 
of the larger valley and the farmer of the hillside or small cove. The 
former usually enjoys a reasonable prosperity, the latter too com- 
monly lives in abject poverty. The valley people are on the whole 
well built, alert, frank, and inteUigent. The hill farmers are largely of 
the shambling, furtive, and shiftless type that is associated popularly 
with "hill billies." They go barefooted most of the year, old and young 
of both sexes smoke and dip snuff, and they marry when hardly out of 
childhood. Most of the ancestors of both groups came from the same 
regions of Tennessee and Kentucky. In part the present hill farmers are 
descended from the poorer immigrants who located on the less desirable 
land. In numerous instances, however, valley farmers and hill farmers 
are from the same stock and have become differentiated since settling 
in Missouri by reason of a strongly contrasted environment. 

Where bottom lands and prairies lie in close proximity, they afford 
interesting economic and social contrasts. The bottom lands are almost 
invariably much richer than the adjacent prairies. The prairie farms, 
however, make a surer crop because they are never flooded. They are 
also cultivated more easily because of the more compact form and level 
surface of their fields and usually are more healthful. For these reasons 
the prairie farms in many sections are better cared for than the bottom 
farms and bring a higher price, considering their fertility. An additional 
factor, and probably the most important one which makes the prairie 
land more in demand, is its accessibility. Most bottoms are much less 
than half a mile wide, and are flanked on both sides by a belt of rough, 
almost uninhabited, country, which most likely is several miles in width. 
A neighborhood in the bottoms is therefore linear, the houses being strung 


along the valley at distances usually in excess of half a mile. On the 
prairie, however, roads lead in all directions and there are neighbors all 
around (Plate XXI). Moreover, the main roads are located almost 
invariably upon the upland, so that the prairie farmer may live in touch 
with the outer world, whereas the valleys are served by side roads, 
traveled ordinarily only by a few people of the vicinity. The one region 
therefore enjoys a fair amount of community life, whereas the other 
may be extremely isolated. This isolation has a somewhat discouraging 
effect on the husbandry of the valley farmer, as he lacks the stimulus 
derived from the competition and comment of numerous neighbors and 
from an exchange of opinions. The most serious effect of isolation, 
however, is upon the farmer's family, which commonly tires of the lonely 
life. Because of the wishes of his family the valley farmer in many 
instances disposes of his place after a time and removes to a section where 
there are more social relations. 

School conditions throw light on the contrasted social conditions of 
the Ozark Center and Border. In six counties in Missouri the average 
attendance per pupil enrolled was less than 75 days for the school year 
191 2-13. These counties and the average number of days in attendance 
are: Douglas, 69; Reynolds, 69.5; Camden, 70.9; Bollinger, 71.2; 
Stone, 73; Carter, 74 — all of the Ozark Center. In contrast to these 
conditions an agricultural county of north Missouri, Holt, showed a 
record of 123 .9 days and some of the Ozark Border counties the follow- 
ing: Franklin, 109.4; Jefferson, 107. i; Barry, 107.5. None of these 
has any large part of its pupils in city school districts. Including 
Butler County there are eighteen school districts in the Ozarks, each of 
which has a total assessed valuation of less than $10,000. In Ozark, 
Pulaski, Phelps, Texas, and Wayne counties not a single one-room district 
(this includes all rural schools as well as the smaller villages) is assessed 
as high as $50,000. In many of these poorer schools the teacher has 
been employed at $25 a month, and in at least one case at $20.* 

' Sixty-fourth Missouri Report of Public Schools. 


To Missouri's normal mineral output of $50,000,000 the Ozark 
Highland contributes more than three-fifths. The value of all minerals 
produced in the Ozarks is nearly half as great as that of all agricultural 
crops. Half of the mineral values of the state consist of lead and zinc, 
both of which are mined exclusively in the Ozarks. In addition the 
region yields clay, limestone, granite, baryte, iron ore, tripoH, copper, 
silver, and coal. More than half the total mineral output of the high- 
land is from the southwestern district, comprising Jasper, Newton, and 
Lawrence counties, and most of the remainder from the southeastern 
counties, St. Francois, Washington, and Madison. The places of prin- 
cipal production of the various minerals are shown in Fig. 42. 

Mining in general probably does not benefit the region to the extent 
which similar earnings along many other lines do, because (i) the net 
profits of mining are largely taken out of the region, and (2) the wage- 
earners themselves do Httle to build up the community. Ordinarily 
they do not become permanent citizens but drift away after a time, and 
their savings go with them. Mining has aided development principally 
in the following ways: (i) The taxes enable the carrying out of extensive 
pubHc works, especially the construction of good roads. Jasper and St, 
Francois counties have some of the best roads in the state built by these 
means. (2) The mining towns furnish excellent markets for the sur- 
rounding agricultural sections. (3) The miners spend freely and thus 
create good business for the merchants. (4) In so far as royalties are 
paid to owners of land, the stable indigenous population shares in the 
profits. (5) The mineral deposits attract railroads, which in turn aid 
the general development of the mining districts and of the territory 
lying between the mines and the markets. 


The southwestern region still leads the country in normal times in the 
production of zinc. Its output of raw ore iniQi 2 was worth $13,000,000. 
In addition there was produced about $2,100,000 worth of lead ore, 
mainly as a by-product." Of the total, almost 95 per cent came from 



Jasper County.'' Values of zinc concentrates in 1915 were $18,585,454; 
of lead, $1,805,782. The total ore values for the district in 191 7 were 
placed at $25,000,000.^ The outbreak of the war in 1914 created an 
enormous demand for zinc. Old mills were reopened, low-grade pro- 
ducers from the "sheet ground" areas were greatly stimulated, tailings 
were re-worked, improved methods of recovery were introduced, and, 
above all else, the district experienced an enormous expansion of area 
by the opening of new mines. This expansion was almost entirely west- 
ward and northward and lay, therefore, for the most part beyond the 

Fig. 42. — Principal areas of mineral production 

boundaries of the state. Joplin, the metropolis of the district, has 
thereby been placed in a distinctly marginal position to the zinc and lead 
region. Prices in 1916 rose three to five times the normal ore values, 
:and development assumed in places a frenzied character. In 191 7 a 
: sharp recession in spelter prices took place without a reduction in the 
high costs of mining, and the older mining districts in Missouri began to 
: suffer heavily. 

Joplin, with a population of 32,073 in 1910, is the metropolis of the 
:zinc region. Probably 100,000 people live within a ten-mile radius of this 

' Twenty-sixth Ann. Kept. Bur. Mines, State of Missouri. 
-^ Eng. and Min. Jour. (1918), p. 70. 


place. Other cities built up principally through mining development 
are Webb City (11,817), Carthage (9,483), Carterville (4,549), Oronogo 
(1,912), Carl Junction (1,115), Purcell (997), and Duenweg in Jasper 
County; Aurora (4,149) in Lawrence County; and Granby (2,336) in 
Newton County. The number of cities is not equaled by any other equal 
area in the state. The concentration of population has resulted in a net 
of interurban electric lines. Mining has made Joplin one of the most 
important railroad centers of the state, and thereby has attracted whole- 
sale merchants, seUing to a large territory in the southwest, as well as 
numerous manufacturers. Joplin itself has for some time been a less 
important producer than some other sections, but it has retained com- 
mercial control of the district, as the earliest great center. Mining 
centers are numerous and for the most part small, as the ore is widely 
distributed and not suited to the erection of a few large mining estab- 
lishments. Instead, there is a host of small producers, resulting in an 
extraordinarily large number of small mining centers. This situation 
facihtates continued control of the business of the district by Joplin, 
which is becoming more and more a commercial city rather than a mining 
town. The manufactures are in large part connected with the mining 
industry, important products being mining machinery, dynamite, and 
white lead. Smelters using zinc ore from this region are located at 
Nevada and Rich Hill in Missouri, and at Pittsburg, Weir City, lola. 
Gas City, La Harpe, and other places in Kansas. Spelter is also shipped 
to Illinois. Since twice as much coal as ore is required in smeltingy 
the ore for the most part is shipped to places at which there is cheap 
fuel. Zinc smelters have developed therefore in the oil and gas fields of 
Kansas and at coal-mining centers in Missouri and Ilhnois. 

Because of the age of the district and its uninterrupted profitable 
production, the cities have an air of stability not common to mining 
sections. For the same reasons the mining population is mostly Ameri- 
can, having been resident in the region in many cases for several genera- 


In southeast Missouri St. Francois County dominates the mining 
industry even to a larger extent than Jasper County does in the south- 
west. The production of Madison County, which ranks second, is 
less than 2 per cent of the total for this region. Production by modern 
methods dates from about 1865, when systematic underground mining 
of disseminated lead deposits was begun at Bonne Terre. In 1888 shafts 


were sunk at Doe Run and resulted in a strong boom. In 1890 the Mis- 
sissippi River and Bonne Terre Railroad was opened and a smelter was 
built at its terminus on the river at Herculaneum. The ore was trans- 
ported to this point, where cheap coal is available. The opening up of 
this railroad solved the vexing fuel problem and inaugurated large-scale 
development. Doe Run experienced a short period of prosperity, the 
workings being practically abandoned in 1896. The town is at present 
largely in ruins. The greatest development began in 1892, when the 
first shaft was sunk in the Flat River field ; about at the same time opera- 
tions commenced at Desloge.^ In 1902 the Federal Lead Company 
entered the field, sinking shafts at Flat River, Elvins, and Central. 
The St. Francois district yielded from 1869 to 1906 lead concentrates 
valued at $59,870,000.^ From 1907 to 191 5 their value amounted to 
$85,207,971, probably in excess of all production prior to 1907.^ In 
191 5 alone the concentrates were valued at approximately $12,000,000. 
In 191 2 mining companies controlled 42,000 acres of land in St. Francois 
County which contain ample reserves for a number of years.'' As in the 
JopHn district, both production and development work were enormously 
stimulated by the Great War. There exist possibilities of extension of 
the area producing lead from disseminated ore, especially into Washing- 
ton County, at the scene of the original lead mining in Missouri. 

The ore bodies are more deep-seated than in the southwestern 
region, and the quantity available in the same area of mining operations 
is as a rule greater. Mining equipment is therefore on a larger scale and 
of a more permanent character than in the Joplin region. A few large 
companies dominate the field completely, have built large power plants 
and mills, and even, in considerable part, towns in which the miners live. 
In this section is the largest lead-mining corporation on the continent, 
the St. Joseph Lead Company, which produced in 191 7 ore approximating 
$18,000,000 in value and paid nearly $5,000,000 in dividends in that year. 

The rapid mining development has resulted in a phenomenal increase 
of population in St. Francois County, which is equaled by no other Ozark 
county during the same period. In 1880 the county had 13,822 people; 
in 1890, 17,347; in 1900, 24,051; in 1910, 35,738. The increase since 
then has been even more rapid. In 1880 the population was approxi- 
mately the same as that of Washington County; in 19 10 it was nearly 

' Buckley, Missouri Bur. Geol. and Mines, IX, 164, 196. 

3 Ibid., p. 3. 

' U.S. Geol. Surv., Mineral Resources (191 5), I. 

* Twenty-sixth Ann. Rept. Bur. Mines, State of Missouri. 


three times as large. The mines are so distributed that no one center 
overshadows the rest in size and importance. Flat River, with a popu- 
lation of 5,112 in 1910, is at present the center of greatest activity, and 
is a typical, hastily built mining town. Bonne Terre (4,5°°) is the oldest 
mining town in a field which still is producing satisfactorily. The town 
has the appearance of prosperity and stability. Elvins (2,071) and 
Desloge (2,200) are mushroom places. In all, there are at present at 
least 25,000 people dependent on the mines of the district. The workers 
are largely foreigners from the east of Europe. Mining has aided the 
growth of the old city of Farmington and has contributed greatly to its 
wealth. Because of its established residential character it has been the 
home of many of the men connected with the mines in superior capacities. 
Some of its inhabitants have been made prosperous by the sale or lease 
of land to the mining companies. As a result the city has an air of 
prosperity and refinement rare in places of its size. 


Next to the lead and zinc mines, quarries are the leading producers 
of mineral wealth. The quarries that ship out their product fall into two 
groups: (i) those possessing competitive water rates, and (2) those 
producing a stone of such quality that it can be shipped considerable 
distances by rail. To the latter class belong the Carthage quarries and 
those of the granite region. The Carthage limestone is the best-known 
and most successfully developed building stone of the state. It is much 
stronger than the Bedford stone, is hardly surpassed by any limestone in 
uniformity of color,^ dresses well, and does not discolor readily. It is 
quarried by improved methods and has a stable output, 75,000 tons hav- 
ing been shipped in 191 2. The stone is shipped not only throughout 
Missouri but to regions in the Southwest as well which are deficient 
in structural stone. The stone is used for all exterior work in the new 
state capitol. The extensive use in Carthage has made that city one of 
the most beautiful in the state. Ste. Genevieve has the largest quarry 
in the state. Limestone is produced here by the government for riprap 
to protect the banks of the Mississippi. Granite quarrying commenced 
at Graniteville in 1869^ and a few years later at Syenite and Knob Lick. 
The industry flourished until very recently. Knob Lick alone shipping 
out a thousand carloads annually for fifteen years.^ The decadence of 

' Buckley and Buehler, Missouri Bur. Gcol. and Mines, Ser. 2, II, 123. 

' Buckley and Buehler, op. ciL, p. 62. 

3 Winslow, Missouri Gcol. Surv., Sheet Rept. No. 4 (1896), p. 112. 


the industry was due in the first place to the decrease in the demand for 
paving blocks;^ secondly, to the working out of the bodies which were 
easily accessible and required little machinery ; and thirdly, to a lack of 
initiative and to poor management. At present the quarries are at 
work only when a contract for stone comes in, an event which seems to 
occur more and more rarely. The quarry towns of the granite region 
are all decadent, the remaining population being obliged to eke out an 
existence by various occupations. 

At Crystal City and Festus the St. Peter sandstone outcrops near 
the Mississippi River. Sand is therefore shipped out cheaply. In 
191 2, 108,000 tons of sand are reported to have been sent out by rail.^ 
Coal is also shipped in at low cost from the nearby Illinois fields and is 
used to operate a large local glass industry. Sand is quarried also at 
Pacific from the same formation. 

Lime is burned at many different places, most notably at Springfield, 
Ash Grove, and Pierce City on the west, and at Kimmswick, Ste. Gene- 
vieve, and Cape Girardeau on the east.^ In the border regions nearly 
pure limestones are available in most localities. The location of lime- 
kilns is determined therefore primarily by shipping facilities. Cape 
Girardeau has a cement mill, which utilizes the local limestone and clay, 
and ships in coal at competitive water rates. 


Only one iron smelter remains in operation.'' This is the furnace at 
Sligo, which produces charcoal iron. It is able to continue in business 
because there is demand for this particular kind of iron at a good price, 
because charcoal is produced at low cost from the timber of the flint hills, 
and because labor is cheap. The ore comes chiefly from Crawford 
County, from small open pit mines of the filled sink type. The demand 
for ore and for timber has resulted in the construction of a number of 
spurs from the Salem branch of the Frisco Railroad. 

The production of tripoli began in 1888 with the manufacture of 
scouring bricks and of tripoli powder. There are works at Seneca, 
Racine, and Neosho. The production of tripoli flour has increased 
from 200 tons in the first year to about 5,000 tons at present. In addi- 
tion, filters of all sizes are made. The total output in 191 2 was worth in 

^ Winslow, Missouri Geol. Siirv., Sheet Rcpt. No. 4 (1896), p. 112. 
^ Missouri, 1912, 1913, 1914: Jefferson County. ^ Ibid., p. 29. 

'• Recently a plant has been built at Midco, Carter County, to produce wood 
distillate and charcoal iron. 


excess of eighty thousand dollars and supplied most of the demands of 
the country.^ 

Banks of fire clay are worked in many counties, usually intermittently 
and on a small scale. Their small size makes the use of machinery 
generally unprofitable, and they are worked as a rule by pick and shovel, 
commonly by farmers during the winter months. Baryte, or tiff, is 
produced similarly. Four-fifths of the total annual production of Mis- 
souri comes from Washington County and is valued at nearly a hundred 
thousand dollars.^ 

These minor minerals, produced principally by the farming popula- 
tion, are a mixed blessing to the region. They bring to poor sections a 
certain amount of money. They also divert attention from farming. 
The hill farmers especially are glad for a chance to earn a few dollars in 
cash. They are farmers by necessity and not by choice, and gladly 
take to digging mineral or to hauling it to market. They become only 
too willing to turn to such jobs not only in winter but at other seasons. 
It is only as they realize that their salvation lies in the land, not under it, 
that the consistent development of the poorer regions is possible. 


In the interior of the region the water wheel still is to be seen 
(Plate XXII h). Timber is sawed, flour and meal are ground, and wool 
is carded in the same fashion as when the region was first settled. The 
old mills are fast disappearing, however, and in their stead have come the 
gasoline and portable steam engines to furnish the small power needed 
for most rural industries. Hydroelectric power has been developed at 
a few places only, in spite of the excellent possibilities. The one large 
power plant of the Ozarks of Missouri is at Powersite, Taney County, 
where a dam 53 feet high has been built across the White River, and forms 
a lake about 23 miles long. The plant in September, 1914, had a capacity 
of 17,000 horse-power, and expected to develop 28,000.3 Small plants for 
lighting and power are in successful operation at Houston, Ava, Ozark, 
Alley, and Neosho. Water power, if utilized properly, would be suffi- 
cient to make good the deficiency of coal and to serve as the basis of 
well distributed and varied manufacturing interests, not only within 
the Ozarks, but in the larger cities adjacent to the region. 

' Missouri, 1912, 191 3, 1914, pp. 52-54; U.S. Geol. Surv. Bull., pp. 429-35- 

'Missouri, 1912, 1913, 1914, p. 51. 

3 Stevens, Missouri, the Center State, I, 116. 


Manufactures other than those connected with mining are few, for 
the most part small, and scattered. Even in the larger cities manu- 
factures are of secondary importance. This is due, not to lack of raw 
materials or of power, but to the stage of development of the region. 
Flour milling and woodworking are most extensive. These are depend- 
ent almost solely upon advantageously located, cheap raw materials. A 
second, smaller group is a response primarily to transportation facilities 
and labor supply. Here belong most of the industries in the Missouri 
River towns as well as some of those located at the larger railroad centers, 
such as Springfield and Joplin. 

The table below shows the value of manufactures and number of 
people employed in cities of more than 10,000 in 1909. The rank of 
Jefferson City is due largely to the convict labor employed at the peni- 
tentiary, secondarily to the boot and shoe industry. Because of low 
taxes and rentals, cheap labor, and competitive freight rates the shoe 
industry has extended from St. Louis to Missouri River towns, such as 

Jefiferson City, 
Springfield. . . . 


Webb City. . . 

Value of Product 

JS ,446,000 



No. of People Employed 





Jefferson City, Hermann, and Washington. In Springfield, Webb City, 
and Carthage the milHng of flour is first in importance. These cities are 
in an important wheat-growing region and have been manufacturing 
flour for many years. They are so situated also that they can secure 
hard wheat cheaply from the West. Springfield has developed a variety 
of manufactures to supply the demands of the large agricultural section 
for which it serves as trading center. These are most notably wagons, 
furniture, saddles, and stoves. The making of saddles and of wagons are 
among the oldest industries, and apparently originated when Springfield 
was an outfitting point for travelers and emigrants setting out for the 
Southwest. Springfield also has a large number of men employed in the 
railroad car shops. In Joplin lead smelting has remained the leading 
industry. The small amount of fuel required has enabled the manufac- 
ture of lead at Joplin, whereas the zinc ore, because of its large require- 
ments of fuel, is mostly shipped away to be smelted. Washington is 


the center of the cob-pipe industry, producing the greater part of the 
world's output. The industry is due to personal initiative, aided by the 
adaptation of the river bottom lands to the growth of large cobs. At 
present there are many farmers engaged in raising a special variety of 
corn with large cobs. Few of these cities have any highly localized 
advantage for the manufacture of a particular product other than good 
transportation and labor. Most of those now engaged in manufacture 
were commercial centers first, and added manufacturing interests later, 
in a minor way. 




The Mississippi is still an important highway for the eastern border. 
Regular service is maintained between St. Louis and local points, usually 
as far as Cape Girardeau or Commerce. Other boats, operating between 
St. Louis and the lower Mississippi or the Ohio and Tennessee rivers, 
make landings at the more important local ports. An important part 
of the products of the eastern counties is still shipped by water, therefore. 
On the Missouri, the swift current, the snags and sawyers, and the rapidly 
local bars have discouraged navigation. For a time there was only 
local service of very uncertain character. Recently, however, barge 
service between St. Louis and Kansas City has been resumed. 

The Osage and Gasconade rivers are handicapped by their exceed- 
ingly devious courses, by the occurrence of large shoals caused by gravel 
bars, and by small volume in dry seasons. To maintain a satisfactory 
channel in these streams would require an excessive expense. The 
distance to which boats go up these rivers depends upon the stage of 
water. On the Osage River boats ply at irregular intervals, usually not 
above Tuscumbia, although Warsaw is head of navigation; on the 
Gasconade, ArHngton is nominally at the head of navigation, but a boat 
rarely passes above Richfountain, in Osage County. Nevertheless, these 
two streams are of considerable commercial significance because they 
furnish an outlet to a country, difficultly traversed by land, in which 
railroad facihties are largely lacking. To the "bottom" farms situated 
along them the steamboat is the usual means of marketing the crops, 
which are stored, convenient to the river's bank, until a boat arrives. 
To those who live at some distance from the river the most irregular 
schedule of shipping is a very great disadvantage. 

Many streams which are not navigable for boats are important for 
rafting lumber. 


Of the 2,500 miles of railways in the Ozark Highland of Missouri 
approximately 30 per cent are in the Springfield Plain, nearly as much in 
the Missouri River Border, about 10 per cent each in the Courtois Hills, 




Mississippi River Border, and in the Central Plateau, and the remainder 
in the St. Francois, White River, and Osage-Gasconade districts. Nearly 
two-thirds of the total, therefore, is in the narrow border ^reas of the 
west and north. 

The net is densest by far in the Springfield Plain (see Fig. 43), where 
the prairie surface has enabled construction of railroads at low cost, 
and where there are also the greatest profits to be secured in carrying the 
products of mine and farm. In this region important railroad junctions 
have been formed at Joplin, because of its mines, and at Springfield. 

Fig. 43. — Air-line distances from railroads 

The latter city is the first railroad center of southern Missouri. It lies 
approximately at the focal point from which the most important Ozark 
streams radiate, including several forks of the White and Gasconade 
rivers and the headwaters of the Spring, Sac, Pomme de Terre, and 
Niangua rivers. The even-crested watersheds between these streams 
form the most convenient location for railroads, which consequently 
intersect at Springfield. The Frisco main line, for example, south of 
St. Louis is located on the watershed between the Meramec and Bourbois 
rivers, crosses the Gasconade River (Plate XXIII a), and then follows 
the great watershed between the Gasconade and Osage to Springfield, 


Its Kansas City-Memphis branch is located on the upland between the 
Pomme de Terre and Sac rivers north of Springfield and south of that city 
on the divide between the White and Gasconade systems (Plate XXIII h). 
The main shops and hospital of the Frisco Railroad are at Springfield. 
There are 2,500 railway employees in the city, constituting nearly a 
fourth of the wage-earners, and their annual pay-roll was said to 
aggregate $5,000,000 in 1915.^ 

The Missouri River Border forms an important passageway for 
trunk lines between the East and the far West. Here are main lines of 
the Missouri Pacific, the Rock Island, and the Missouri, Kansas, and 
Texas railroads. The Missouri Pacific and Missouri, Kansas, and Texas 
utilize the Missouri flood plain, with very low grades, but are subject to 
flooding by the river, and are in serious danger of washouts when freshets 
occur in the hills. The larger part of their traffic originates outside of 
this area, although the productivity of the river valley and its advanced 
economic development result in heavy local freight. The Rock Island, 
one of the most recent roads of the state, takes a somewhat more cir- 
cuitous route between St. Louis and Kansas City by following remnants 
of the old peneplain, but has thus avoided expense in bridges, embank- 
ments, and cuts, as well as upkeep. The only difficult engineering 
problem which it has confronted has been the crossing of the rough belt 
adjacent to the Osage River. The roads on the northern border are in 
general parallel, no important roads penetrate the Ozarks from the 
Missouri River, and there are therefore no large railroad centers. 

On the east, railway construction has been more difficult than in the 
other border regions, because the drainage is directly to the Mississippi 
by many small streams and because the region has neither extensive 
smooth uplands nor large valleys which railroads may follow. The two 
lines of the Iron Mountain, as well as the Bonne Terre Railroad, have 
followed valleys wherever they are available. The table^ (p. 221) shows 
distances from St. Louis and altitudes on the main line of the Iron 
Mountain Railroad and indicates the grades encountered. The latest 
important railroad lines of the region are the St. Louis-Memphis line of 
the Frisco, and the Cape Girardeau Northern. The former is located at 
the base of the Mississippi River bluffs, and, like the main line of the 
Missouri Pacific, has low grades, but many curves and trestles 
(Plate XIII). It is the only direct line between St. Louis and Memphis 
west of the river. The Cape Girardeau Northern is built to tap fertile 

^Missouri, igi2, igij, 191 4, p. 578. 
* Missouri Geol. Surv., VIII, 255. 


regions of Hagerstown and Fredericktown soils hitherto unsupplied 
with rail facilities. In this the railroad has been only partially successful, 
as it has been meagerly financed and is not well connected with larger 
systems at present. In considerable part it was not operating in 1918. 
The Illinois Southern Railroad gives most direct connections with the 
coal fields of southern Illinois and hauling coal to the St. Francois min- 
ing district is its most important business. The only railroad center on 
the east is Bismarck, which owes its significance solely to the railroad 
junction. On the margins of the area are Cape Girardeau and Poplar 
Bluff, both at gateways between the Ozarks and the Mississippi lowlands. 
At Poplar Bluff the Black River opens a direct route of easy grade into 
the highland. This is followed by the main line of the Iron Mountain. 
A branch line of the Frisco, running southwest from Cape Girardeau 
along the margin of the southeastern lowlands, passes through Poplar 


Feet above Sea-Level 













Iron Mountain 








Des Arc 


Gad's Hill 




Bluff. Another branch railroad has been built from there to the mouth 
of the Ohio River. Poplar Bluff is therefore well supplied with rail 
facilities. It is also a rail division point. Cape Girardeau is the leading 
center of transportation in the southeastern part of Missouri, as it pos- 
sesses an excellent river harbor, three railroads, and is benefited by the 
bridge across the Mississippi at Thebes. 

The interior region is traversed by three railroads, the St. Louis- 
Springfield and the Springfield-Memphis lines of the Frisco system, and 
the White River Route of the Iron Mountain. In addition there are 
three local branches of the Frisco as well as the Missouri Southern and 
the Sligo and Eastern lines, all of which are in the Courtois Hills and 
are built principally to carry timber and ore. These short lines are 
devious and have heavy grades. In the Central Plateau the construction 
of railroads is hardly more difficult than in the plains of north Missouri. 
The main lines of the Frisco, for example, follow watersheds, which in 
large part are more nearly level than most glacial plains. Similarly, 


some years ago, a route was surveyed from Belle in Maries County, 
through Rolla and Licking into Arkansas, on which it is said that not a 
single bridge and almost no grading would be required. The resources 
and stage of development of the plateau, however, are such that the 
number of railroads is small. 

The lack of rail facilities is a most serious handicap to the develop- 
ment of the Ozarks. Fig. 43 shows the air-line distance to rail trans- 
portation. Considering that the distances by road are greater than 
linear distances and that railroad stations are on the average at least 
five miles apart, the actual length of haul from farm to rail shipping- 
point is considerably more than the distances shown on this map. In 
the Springfield Plain the actual distance is at least one-third greater, 
and in the hill districts it may be doubled. In the border regions a 
farmer, living five miles in a straight line from the railroad, may haul 
two loads to town in one day only under the most favorable conditions. 
In the hills he can make only one round trip a day with a loaded wagon. 
In the second zone not more than one haul per day is possible by wagon, 
and in the hill sections twice as much time may be required. The first 
zone therefore is the only one having adequate transportation facilities. 
Areas located beyond the ten-mile line are seriously handicapped, and 
in places twenty-five to forty-five miles distant from rail transportation 
the exportation of farm crops and minerals, and in many cases also of 
timber, is virtually impossible. The map further understates the difiS- 
culty of transportation, as some of the timber and ore railroads are not 
public carriers, some charge higher freight rates than normal, and some, 
as the Missouri Southern Railway, have outlets only to the south, whereas 
the trade of the region is mostly with points to the north. 

The sections which are remote from railroads are connected with 
the outside world by hack (stage) and freight service, usually operated 
on fairly regular schedule by professional teamsters. The war period 
has seen the abandonment of certain branch lines, as, for instance, the 
scrapping of the Ozark Valley Railway. Nor is the outlook for future 
building of branch railways promising. The promise of the future 
appears to lie in the substitution of automobile truck and trailer for the 
present teaming service on the ridge roads and in telferage for the 
hill sections. One additional major railway line, however, is needed 
badly, the line surveyed north and south from Rolla, which could be 
constructed as a ridge-top railroad virtually from the Missouri River to 
Arkansas, would give a north-south line through the heart of the Ozarks, 
and would open several large tracts that are now isolated. 



With few exceptions the main traveled highways of the Ozark 
region follow the crests of ridges (Plate XXIV a). The exceptions are 
principally in the Springfield Plain and on the larger prairies of the 
Central Plateau, where the level surface allows equally facile communi- 
cation in all directions. The ridge roads drain well, are never flooded, 
and for the most part have easy grades. They are located in most cases 
on the longest ridges, which require the fewest crossings of valleys. 
Where a valley is tc bt crossed the road approaches it by a spur or tribu- 
tary valley and strikes directly across to the next ridge, within the 
shortest distance that the slopes of the valley permit. On a few of the 
best roads the steepest part of the slope is negotiated by means of warps 
or serpentine bends, and long hills are supplied with balks which pre- 
vent washing and give the teams a chance to rest. Most roads, how- 
ever, are entirely innocent of such improvements. In the hilly sections 
the main roads are located on the narrow, flinty crests of timbered ridges, 
the farms lying hidden in the valleys. These roads are as desolate today 
as they were a century ago, when Schoolcraft wrote of them: "The 
traveler can no where go into Washington County, keeping the main 
roads, without passing over some of the most sterile soil in it. For the 
sake of getting good roads, they have been carried along the tops of the 
most sterile flinty ridges, running in the required direction, and when one 

deviated too far, it has been left, and another ascended The 

traveler riding along these, is .... impressed with the almost unvaried 
barrenness of the country."' 

From the ridge roads private roads lead to the farms that are located 
in the valleys. If the valleys are sufficiently large they are followed 
usually by secondary public roads. Roads in the valleys are impassable 
at times because of freshets. The road commonly follows gravel bars 
marginal to the stream or, if the stream is not large, even the stream bed 
itself. After a freshet the valley roads usually need to be cleared of the 
driftwood that has lodged in them, and also must be relocated here and 
there to avoid quicksands, undercut banks, and washed-out fords. 

The making and care of roads are very simple in the interior counties. 
A road is made usually by felling timber so that the axle of a wagon will 
clear the stumps. The improvement of the road is left to travel. The 
soil is thin and is underlain in most places by several feet of residual 
chert. When a road is opened, therefore, the soil is speedily worn away, 
and the roadbed soon becomes a mass of well-packed chert, which forms 

' View of the Lead Mines, p. 52. 


an excellent natural macadam (Plate XXIV b) . The sharp chert causes 
tires and horseshoes to wear out rapidly. Such a road has the slightly 
roughened surface and the compactness necessary to give good pulling 
power and drains exceedingly well. With very little care it remains in 
excellent condition under average traffic. For the most part, however, 
roads receive no attention. x'Vs a result, especially where they lie on 
hillsides, they are usually in bad repair. Lacking ditches along their 
sides, the roads serve as drains for the hillside and soon are gullied, in 
many cases down to bedrock. When this happens, a new trail is cleared, 
soon to be destroyed in the same fashion. This process may continue 
until the present road is flanked by older, gullied roads to a width of 
several hundred feet. Plates XXV a, b show roads which have been 
injured to different degrees by erosion. As indicated in Plate XXV b 
the damage to hill roads by erosion is greatest in regions of non-cherty 

Streams are crossed most commonly by means of fords, which are 
located at broad shallows, formed by gravel bars (Plate XXVI a). 
Many of these bars are probably residual rather than transported, and 
do not change their positions. Because of the stability of these bars, 
the fords may remain at the same place for many years. In some cases 
they have not changed appreciably since the first settlement of the region. 
They are usually impassable for a number of days in time of freshet and 
may be dangerous afterward, until the gravel and sand have again become 
compact. Ferries are used on the larger streams where fords are want- 
ing. There are few bridges, in some counties not more than two or 
three. The construction of bridges is one of the most serious questions 
which the hill counties have to face. In every county there are districts 
from which a shipping-point can be reached without crossing any trouble- 
some stream. The residents of such localities usually oppose the appro- 
priation of county funds for bridges. Other settlements are handicapped 
seriously by the absence of bridges and are strongly in favor of their con- 
struction. Unfortunately, in many counties bridges are needed at 
many places, and each location has its supporters, who in turn are 
antagonized by the partisans of other sites, with the not uncommon 
result that nothing is done. Bridge building not rarely is the livest 
issue in the county politics, and county courts stand or fall by their 
attitude toward this problem. 

In the border regions the main traveled highways are in fair or good 
condition. Most of the border counties are beginning to use crushed 
rock to some extent, stone of excellent quality being generally available 


for this purpose. More commonly chert from the creek bars is used and 
makes a cheap and fairly satisfactory surface for roads, deficient, how- 
ever, in binding qualities. The best roads are in the mining districts, 
which have not only abundant revenue for the construction of good roads, 
but can make use of the huge quantities of "chats," the finely crushed 
limestone from which the ore has been removed. Some of the richer 
agricultural counties, as Greene and Cooper, have many excellent roads. 
In some of the older counties, as Cape Girardeau, many roads follow 
curious and devious courses up and down hill. These are old roads 
which came to be in this manner. The old homesteads were built mostly 
on elevations, not infrequently detached from each other. Roads were 
gradually established from one farmhouse to the next. Although shorter 
and easier roads could be constructed, many of the old pattern still exist. 
In the border counties roads are being relocated so as to cross the valleys 
by long, easy slopes. This necessitates blasting and filling. Such a 
road is shown in process of construction on Plate XXVI b. The cost 
has prevented the general introduction of this type, but it may be con- 
sidered the permanent form to which roads of the entire region will 
approach ultimately. 


In the sections which are deficient in railroad facilities commercial 
development is most primitive. Exports are largely cattle and lumber, 
in the handling of which a relatively small number of people are engaged. 
Because these districts sell little they buy little. Their wants are sup- 
plied largely by crossroads stores, which carry the ordinary staples and 
collect produce. These stores are operated commonly by men who com- 
bine storekeeping with other occupations, usually farming. Storekeeper, 
farmer, postmaster, and barber may be combined in one person. Within 
half a dozen miles of a railroad few such stores exist. Beyond that dis- 
tance, however, they become increasingly numerous, as the people 
find it more and more difficult to get to a town. 

Because of larger resources, easier communication, and more 
advanced development the number and size of commercial centers is 
greater in the border than in the central regions. In most parts of 
the Ozarks commercial advantages are not centralized in any locality 
to any great extent, and as a result there are many small towns rather 
than a few of considerable size. Of the twenty Ozark cities having a 
population in 1910 in excess of 2,500, nine are supported primarily by 
trade and transportation. These are Springfield, Cape Girardeau, 


Poplar Blufif, Boonville, Washington, Neosho, West Plains, Frederick- 
town, and Farmington. Eight are dependent on mining industries, 
two are important solely as railroad division points, and one chiefly 
as the seat of the state government. 

Springfield (35,201 inhabitants in 1910) is the largest city as well as 
the leading commercial center of the Ozarks. Its rank is due to its 
position relative to lines of communication in a fertile section. Because 
of its excellent shipping facilities it has developed a large wholesale and 
retail business. It has wholesale grocery, dry-goods, hardware, produce, 
drug, fruit, and other establishments. It is estimated that a thousand 
traveling men make their headquarters at Springfield because of its com- 
mercial advantages. After Springfield and the cities of the Joplin 
mining district, Neosho (3,661) is the largest city and the one most 
important commercially in the Springfield Plain. It is located at the 
convergence of three creeks, which have been utilized by as many 
railroads. The city has rail service in five directions and thus has 
become a commercial center. Most of the other trading centers of the 
Springfield Plain possess little geographic distinction. In this level 
region there are few sites that have any marked natural merit, their 
locations being more or less accidental. The successful cities' are 
either railroad junctions, as Pierce City (2,943), Ash Grove (1,075), ^^^ 
Crane (1,002), or county seats, selected because of central location, as 
Greenfield (1,434), Mount Vernon (1,161), and Cassville (781), or merely 
railroad shipping-points more or less central to a prosperous farm region, 
the settlement usually having been established at an early date, as 
Sarcoxie (1,311), Marion ville (1,272), and Humansville (913). On -the 
northern margin of the area Osceola (1,114) ^.nd Warsaw (824) are old 
ports on the Osage River which have retained part of their importance 
because two railroads cross at the former place and one terminates at 
the latter. 

In the Missouri River Border most of the important trade centers are 
on the Missouri River. These places originated where good landings 
were combined with easy access to the interior. The cities of this class 
are Jefiferson City (11,850), Boonville (4,252), Washington (3,670), 
Hermann (1,592), Glasgow (1,507), New Haven (855), New Frankhn 
(794), and Chamois (649). Their commerce at present is carried mostly 
by rail, but they retain the advantage of competitive water rates. 
Because of floods the sites of these cities are mainly on the hilly upland, 

' In Missouri, a great many places of a few hundred inhabitants are incorporated 
as cities. 


which gives to them a picturesque appearance. On the southern margin 
of the region a number of important centers have formed on the long 
watershed followed by the Frisco Railroad. Here is Rolla (2,261), 
on a narrow upland which forms a passage between the northern border 
and the Central Plateau. Southeastward and westward of Rolla is a 
rough hill country, and only through this passage is there easy connec- 
tion between the northern part of the Central Plateau and the outside 
world. Rolla is the shipping-point, therefore, for an area extending fully 
fifty miles to the south.. St. James (1,100), Sullivan (934), and Cuba 
(619) are shipping-points on the Frisco, located on the main divide 
between the Meramec and Bourbeuse rivers at points where secondary 
watersheds join the main ridge. Each of the smaller divides forms a strip 
of prairie a number of miles in length and several miles wide, on which 
are numerous farms. The territory tributary to each of these cities 
consists chiefly of one or two "prairies." On the Rock Island Railroad, 
Owensville (677) is located similarly. This type of location is illustrated 
west of the Osage River by Cahfornia (2,154), Eldon (1,999), Versailles 
(1,598), and Tipton (1,273). 

On .the eastern border. Cape Girardeau (8,475), possessing rail and 
water facilities, and serving as a gateway between Ozark Highland and 
Mississippi lowlands, has kept far ahead of the other cities. Its recent 
rapid increase, more than 75 per cent in the decade 1900-1910, is due 
principally to extensive reclamation of fertile farmland by drainage in 
southeast Missouri, for which it is the chief entrepot. The southeastern 
lowlands may be likened to a funnel with the apex pointing north. At 
this apex Cape Girardeau lies, and through it flows a large part of the 
trade of this section. Ste. Genevieve (1,967) and St. Mary's (702), like 
the Missouri River towns, have developed railroad interests to supply 
the waning river trade. Jackson (2,105) and Perryville (1,708) continue 
to be good trading centers, principally because they are surrounded by 
fertile farming districts, and because of their early start and accumulated 
prosperity. Similarly, in the St. Francois region the old nuclei of settle- 
ment retain their pre-eminence in commerce and population, as in the 
case of Farmington (2,613) and Fredericktown (2,632). 

In the Ozark Center a majority of the important trade centers are 
situated on the upland at the intersection of strips of prairie. On the 
Frisco Railroad, Lebanon, Marshfield, Richland (884), and Dixon (715) 
are examples. Lebanon (2,430) is the center of trade for half a dozen 
counties, for long prairie ridges lead off from there to the east, south, 
and northwest and form numerous approaches to isolated parts of the 


Gasconade and Big Niangua valleys. Marshfield (1,193) lies where the 
railroad crosses the Elkland Plateau. Other cities of this type are 
Mountain Grove (1,722) and Seymour (590), on the southern line of the 
Frisco, and Buffalo (820) and Ava (713). In more dissected regions 
towns are located preferably at the margins of the river valleys, where 
converging tributaries give access from various directions. The danger 
from floods usually prevents the location of a town immediately upon 
the floor of the larger valleys. The site chosen is commonly on the lower 
slopes of tributaries adjacent to a larger valley. The exact site is 
determined in a number of cases by a large spring which affords water and 
power. To the valley margin type belong Salem (1,796), Willow 
Springs (1,401), Doniphan (1,225), Cabool (789), Steelville (773), 
Hartville (507), Linn Creek (435), and Waynesville (257). In the 
White River country the "bench lands" provide ample room and 
security, as in the case of Galena (353), Branson, and others. 


The wholesale business of the Ozarks is done mostly with St. Louis 
and Kansas City, to a much smaller extent with Springfield and Joplin. 
Of the former two St. Louis is in much the better location, (i) St. Louis 
is situated on the northeastern margin, and is therefore on a nearly 
direct line between the Ozarks and the industrial sections of the north 
and east. Goods moving to of from the Ozarks through Kansas City, 
to the northwest of the Ozarks, make a detour in most cases. (2) The 
railroads are so arranged that all counties east and north of a line drawn 
from Ripley County to Webster County and from there due north have 
better connections with St. Louis than with Kansas City. (3) Spring- 
field and Joplin divide a considerable territory with Kansas City but 
do not interfere with the St. Louis trade. The greater part of the 
Ozark region, therefore, with the exception of the western border, trades 
mostly with St. Louis. 

In the competition for the trade of the southwestern states the Ozark 
Highland is a handicap to St. Louis in favor of Kansas City. On the 
north and east the territory tributary to St. Louis is small, due to the 
competition of Chicago. The chief direction of expansion for the com- 
merce of St. Louis is to the south and west. Here, however, the 
Ozarks interpose a partial barrier, which has tended to aid the growth 
of Kansas City rather than of St. Louis. From St. Louis the Frisco 
Railroad is the only direct line across the Ozarks to the Southwest. The 


Iron Mountain and Cotton Belt railroads, which skirt the southern 
margin of the Ozarks, are the two other important arteries that connect 
St. Louis with the Southwest. Kansas City, on the other hand, has the 
main lines of the Rock Island, Santa Fe, Missouri, Kansas and Texas, 
and other railways running directly to the southwest. These are built 
across a nearly level surface at low cost and are maintained at less 
expense than the roads operating through the Ozarks. Kansas City is 
also on a direct line between Chicago and a large part of the Southwest 
and serves as a distributing point for the latter city. It is natural, 
therefore, to find Kansas City appropriating an increasing share of the 
southwestern trade. 




The organized summer- and health-resort business is in its infancy 
in the Ozark region, which has been too inaccessible in large part and too 
little known to attract the ordinary summer traveler. It is largely 
because of this fact that the region is frequented by many who enjoy 
hunting, fishing, and camp life. In a number of places large tracts of 
wild land are kept as game preserves by clubs or individuals. Probably 
the greatest number of visitors come primarily to fish. The Ozark 
streams provide bass fishing that is perhaps unsurpassed in the country. 
Jack salmon, sunfish, and other fish give variety to the sport. In muddy 
pools bullfrogs, eels, and catfish are taken. Live bait is secured readily 
from the vast numbers of minnows that feed in the shoals. In addition, 
at the proper season, there is usually good hunting for quail, squirrels, 
turkey, opossum, and raccoon. Add to these attractions a camping site 
on a clean gravel bar, near a spring of clear, cold water, in the midst of 
the forest solitude, and the conditions are almost ideal for a recreative 
vacation. In summer and autumn one may discover a camping party 
in almost any section of the Ozarks, no matter how remote. So long 
as no disorder occurs these parties are accorded the same freedom of the 
country which the native enjoys. It should be added that the last few 
years have seen in some sections a serious depletion of wild life due to the 
use of automobiles in hunting and fishing expeditions. 

Camping vacations are popular, especially with business men from 
St. Louis and Kansas City. St. Louis has within an hour's ride beautiful 
Meramec Valley, to which in summer a special week-end train service 
is operated by both railroads. For those who have more time the upper 
■Gasconade River, especially the Osage and Big Piney forks, and the 
Niangua River offer splendid camping opportunities. "Float" trips 
are becoming popular here. At some convenient point the party, usually 
accompanied by a guide, starts down the river in flat-bottomed boats, 
which are rowed or poled when desired. The canoe, although well suited 
to Ozark streams, is almost unknown. The trips are usually taken in 
very leisurely fashion, numerous stops being made to fish. Camp is 
pitched on a gravel bar or at a spring. A float may last a day or several 



weeks, and usually ends at a railroad point, from which the boats return 
to their starting-place. 

Trips of this sort are also popular south of St. Louis. On the St. 
Francois River it is possible to float from Fredericktown through many 
miles of rugged igneous knobs to Greenville, Chaonia, or Fisk. On the 
Black River a float of similar nature may be begun at Centerville and 
continued to a convenient point on the Iron Mountain Railroad. One of 
the finest trips for sportsmen is down the Current River, beginning at 
some point south of Salem and continued to Van Buren or Doniphan. 

Kansas City has no such regions near at hand. It has better access, 
however, than St. Louis to the James and White river valleys, the best 
of all vacation regions in the Ozarks. This section is frequented espe- 
cially by people from Kansas City, Springfield, and the JopHn district. 
One of the best-known institutions of the regions is a float, usually from 
Galena to Branson or beyond. The Galena-Branson float is about a 
hundred and twenty-five miles and requires ordinarily about six days. 
The renting of boats and camp outfits has become a considerable business, 
and dozens of guides are engaged at one time in making the trip, the 
parties fishing and camping out on the way. This float is through a 
region which is not surpassed for scenery in the Middle West and 
which also affords some of the best fishing in the state. 


In the less remote parts families from the cities spend their summers. 
Resort hotels are few, the principal ones being at Leasburg and Bourbon 
on the Meramec, Jerome on the Gasconade, Hahatonka in Camden 
County, and Hollister on the White River. Many families, however, 
take summer boarders. There are numerous summer cottages of Kansas 
City people on James Fork at Galena and on White River at Hollister 
and Branson. The dam at Powersite forms a magnificent artificial 
lake, twenty-three miles long, called Lake Taneycomo. Due to the 
attractiveness of this lake and the rugged, semi-mountainous scenery 
which surrounds it, HoUister and Branson have become much-visited 
summer resorts. At the former place a Y.M.CA. encampment and a 
Presbyterian camp have become widely attended institutions. A few 
St. Louis people have built cottages on the Meramec and Gasconade 
rivers and in Iron County, and many more board ^ith farmers. The 
Frisco Railroad has recently met with some success in directing the atten- 
tion of people of Memphis to the vacation opportunities in the eastern 


Ozarks. Outside of the cities lying adjacent to the Ozarks the highland 
is almost unknown for vacation purposes. Even from St. Louis and 
Kansas City a much greater number of people leave annually for the 
eastern and northern resorts than come to the Ozarks. One reason for 
this undoubtedly is that a vacation in the Ozarks is attended by few 
of the ordinary amenities of city life and by none of the social allure- 
ments with which the established resorts are provided abundantly. 
Also, the Ozark climate is the climate of the rest of Missouri, with the 
exception that cottages built on the valley slopes enjoy cool nights. 
For persons of moderate means, who enjoy bathing, canoeing, fishing, 
forested hills, bare bluffs and ledges, and pioneer simplicity, the Ozarks 
are an excellent recreation ground. It costs little to reach any section 
from St. Louis, Kansas City, or other points in Missouri. The natives 
are unspoiled as yet, and all commodities, as well as lodging and board, 
can be secured at very low prices. 

Health resorts are almost non-existent. Medicinal springs at De Soto, 
Boonville, and Paris Springs, Lawrence County, enjoy somewhat more 
than local repute. At Mount Vernon is the state hospital for tubercu- 
losis. Otherwise the region is without sanitaria or spas. 


The increased attention which this region is receiving from summer 
visitors has resulted in a movement for the creation of a state park. 
The site spoken of most has been at Hahatonka, in Camden County. 
Here, in the midst of the rugged Osage River hills, is one of the largest 
springs in the world, which feeds an artificial lake. Here is also a fine 
natural bridge, as well as much hill and bluff scenery. At this place one 
of the very few resorts of the Ozarks has been established and has pro- 
vided an opportunity for people to become acquainted with the beauties 
of the locality. Not far away are the bluffs and "balds" of the sinuous 
Big Niangua Valley. The upper Black River, with its "shut-ins," 
towering porphyry knobs, and unending forested slopes, is also to be 
considered as the site of a state park. At latest accounts the state was 
about to initiate its park program by the securing of the old Meramec 
Springs property, at one of the sources of the Meramec. The difficulty 
lies not in finding an area that will meet every need of a state park, but 
in making a beginning by concentrating attention on one of these sites. 
Few states have the choice of such excellent sites for public recreation, 
and the state of Missouri should not long delay taking the necessary 


Steps for their preservation. When this happens it is to be hoped that 
the charm of the Ozarks will become known to a larger group of people, 
and that other areas will be set aside from time to time for the per- 
petual recreation of the public. In this manner, at little additional 
expense, sanctuary could be provided to the vanishing wild life of the 
Mississippi Valley, even now largely driven out of the agricultural 
districts of the prairie state, and fast being reduced even in the Ozark 


In wealth, population, and stage of development the Ozark Highland, 
considered as a whole, is far inferior to the plains of north Missouri. 
Accessibility by river and variety of resources, especially the presence 
of widely scattered lead deposits, made its borders the first part of 
Missouri to be settled and long gave to these border sections pre- 
eminence in state affairs. In time, however, the superior acreage and 
productivity of the prairies of north Missouri enabled them to outstrip 
the settlements of the highland border. As striking as the contrast 
between the highland and the rest of the state is that between the 
bordering and the central regions of the Ozarks. The former have made 
consistent progress from the earliest period, and are today in a very 
fair state of development. They have many moderately prosperous 
farmers and some wealthy ones. Industrial development is beginning. 
Transportation conditions are at least fairly adequate. These border 
areas possess the conservatism that comes of several resident generations, 
but they are far from being backward. The central region, on the other 
hand, is in a rather primitive condition, due primarily to isolation, in 
second place to poverty of the country, and not in any large degree to 
the inherent character of the people. Productive activities here for the 
most part are little specialized. One man may be alternately crop 
farmer, stock raiser, tie cutter, miner, and teamster. The Ozark Center 
again shows strong contrasts between its component parts. Of the 
interior regions the Central Plateau is more advanced than are the hill 
sections. These last constitute the area of sparsest population in the 
state (Fig. 44) . The contrast between the various sections is well illus- 
trated by the fact that of the cities and towns with a population in 
excess of 500 in 19 10 seventy-four were in the Ozark border regions (of 
which thirty-two belonged to the Springfield Plain) and only twenty- 
four in the interior districts. Of these, twenty-four, nineteen were 
located in the Central Plateau and only five in the three hill sections, 
which are of considerably larger extent than the plateau area. 

The Ozark Highland will never possess the wealth nor the popula- 
tion of adjoining districts. It is quite incorrect, however, to consider it 
doomed perpetually to poverty and sparse settlement. In this part of 
the country the esteem of an area has always been determined primarily 




by its adaptation to field agriculture and by its mineral wealth. Because 
the Ozarks are much inferior in production of grains to the adjacent 
prairies the aspiring settler has passed them by. This is too narrow a 
standard for judging of the merits of a region, yet this is the standard 
that has been set in the Middle W.est. The Ozarks possess opportunities, 
as yet but poorly recognized, which ultimately will bring the region 
into much better repute than it has at present. The following lines of 

Fig. 44. — Population in 1910 {Thirteenth Census, Statistical Atlas) 

development, in particular, are forecast, (i) The grain-farming system 
now in vogue is ill adapted to large sections of the area. The Ozark 
farmer is in much the same condition as the upland farmer of New Eng- 
land and New York. He cannot make an adequate living at growing 
corn in competition with his prairie neighbor. Agricultural practice 
must be readjusted, (a) Permanent agriculture will depend primarily 
on dairying and stock raising. For this type of farming the region is 
properly constituted. Throughout the highland are large tracts of hill 
land associated with small, but on the whole well-distributed, tracts of 


good plowland. Some of the latter is on uplands, probably more lies in 
bottoms. This association of good land for crop growing with cheap 
land for pasturage is of the greatest advantage to animal husbandry. 
The cultivable lands are sufficient for the production of most if not all 
of the grain and hay that may be required for the feeding of stock. The 
upland farms especially could be maintained in a much more productive 
condition by this practice, much of the land having been sadly depleted 
through the long-continued removal of its crop. Hill land that cannot 
be cultivated is considered at present nearly worthless. A not incon- 
siderable part of it, however, can be converted into profitable pasturage. 
It must be remembered that these hillsides are not lacking in plant food. 
The soil is readily eroded when laid bare, it becomes rather dry in sum- 
mer, and it lies on difficult slopes. The chief problem is that of develop- 
ing pastures which can maintain themselves under deficient moisture 
conditions of summer and which can stand grazing. The bluestem and 
blue grass in the main are not satisfactory Ozark pasture grasses. Much 
better results have been secured with orchard grass. Lespedeza and 
sweet clover have demonstrated as volunteer growth that they succeed 
on almost any hillside. Lespedeza has in fact become a very important 
factor in grazing in the southeastern counties and has improved the 
pasturage there very notably in the last few years. Another interesting 
possibility is the' Bermuda grass of the South, with its almost indestruct- 
ible turf, which is now successfully established in a number of localities. 
With these and other pasture plants it may be expected that largely 
increased values will result for many tracts that now are producing vir- 
tually nothing. The remarkable wealth of springs will also be a large 
asset in the development of a farm system centering about animal prod- 
ucts, as will the mild winters and the nearness of a number of large 
markets. In the farm economy of the future it may be possible to assign 
an important place to sheep, especially for the production of lambs and 
mutton, (b) The area has superior adaptations to horticulture. Its 
southern part has many localities in which peaches enjoy a high measure 
of immunity from unseasonable frosts. Apples are known to do very 
well and most other fruits of intermediate latitudes may be grown suc- 
cessfully. For commercial production the time at which these fruits 
would enter northern markets is favorable. For a long time to come, 
however, it is idle to expect any large planting of orchards on rough 
hills. The encroachment of the orchard areas will be rather on the areas 
now used for general farming than on the rough, wooded slopes. The 
substitution of orchards for general fields is most likely to take place 


especially on the rather thin, stony soils of the valley margins. A most 
serious retarding feature at present is the lack of growers' organizations. 
Especially in the loess-covered border areas the experimental culture of 
nut trees should be encouraged. (2) Forestry is unknown locally. After 
deducting all areas that may be converted to some form of agricultural 
use there will still be thousands of square miles which should remain in 
timber. In the Courtois and Osage-Gasconade hill sections this will 
include tracts of many thousands of acres in one body. The present 
growth is largely unsatisfactory because of excessive density of stand. 
Under proper management the Ozarks may support oak forests which 
will become a permanent resource of national significance, since they 
may help to preserve our dwindling supply of hardwoods. (3) There 
is little doubt that Ozark streams and springs, properly developed, can 
furnish permanent power for more extensive manufactures than are now 
operated within the state from all sources of power. (4) Although the 
mineral wealth of the Ozarks does not equal the popular estimation, 
there are possibilities of the extension of mineral industries. (5) It is 
to be hoped that the many idyllic spots in which the region abounds may 
be preserved forever, and that with the continued urban growth in the 
surrounding areas the Ozarks may become more famihar to the people 
of the cities. There are few better locahties for recreation than may be 
found in the Ozarks. These are all possibihties worthy of serious con- 
sideration. They will be realized only slowly and imperfectly, however, 
under the existing conditions of scattered individual initiative. The 
state of Missouri needs a policy of conservation and development for 
this area, which embraces about one-half of the state. Few matters, 
indeed, are of more vital concern to the state than this. 

By developing along the lines sketched above the Ozark Highland 
will offer homes to a much larger number of people under much better 
conditions than at present. Few of them will accumulate large wealth, 
but, engaged in useful pursuits, they will be strangers to poverty, and 
they may participate equitably in the progress of the state. By thus 
becoming the seat of an enlightened and contented population, preserving 
still the democratic spirit which it now possesses, this region in the future 
may make its appropriate and sufficient contribution to our national life. 



Agriculture: French, 85 ff.; frontier, 117; 
early products, 117 ff.; Springfield 
Plain, 141-42; Ozark Center, 159; 
present, 191 ff.; possibilities, 235-36 

Annee des grandes eaux, 79-80 

Apple Creek, 88 

Arcadia Valley, 1 1 

Area of Ozarks, 3 

Auglaize Creek, 68 

Austin, Moses, 106 

Balds, 17, 56 

Barrows, H. H., acknowledgments to, ix 

Baryte, 45-46, 215 

Big River, 64, 65, 107 

Black River, 13, 41, 49, 68, 231, 232 

Bois Brule, 105 

Bollinger, 164 

Boone, Daniel, 109 

Boonslick: road, 133; settlement, 109 ff.; 

tobacco, 119 
Borders: dissection, 23; regions, 61 ff., 

Boston Mountains, 6, 7 
Boundaries of Ozarks, 3, 7 
Brooks, lack of, 17-18 

Cahokia, 74, 80 

Castor River, 13, 41, 68 

Central Plateau, 70; crops and stock, 
192, 195, 199, 202; roads, 223; settle- 
ment, 156-57; wild land, 178 

Char(r)ette Creek, 90, 109 

Chert, 16, 36, 42 

Cities, towns, and other settlements of 
Ozarks: Alton, 51; Arcadia, 68; 
Arlington, 218; Ash Grove, 214, 226; 
Aurora, 28, 145-46, 211; Ava, 228; 
Bagnell, 24 [map], rail head, 183; Bel- 
grade, 68; Belle, 222; Belleview, 45, 
68, 107; Birch Tree, 180; Bismarck, 
10, 136, 221; Bonne Terre, 124, 211; 
Bonnots Mill, 90, 94; Boonville, in, 
112, 131, 134, 139, 142, 144, 170 ff., 
226, 232; Brandsville, 205; Branson, 
228, 231; Buffalo, 228; Cabool, 228; 
Caledonia, 68; Cape Girardeau, 88- 

89, 119, 132, 137, 214, 218, 221, 227; 
Carl Junction, 211; Carterville, 145, 
211; Carthage, 67, 211, 214, 216; Cass- 
ville, 226; Cedar Gap, 6, 70; Chamois, 
226; Charrette, 90, 92; Cole Camp, 
172; Cote Sans Dessein, 26, 90, 92; 
Crane, 226; Crystal City, 214; Cuba, 
227; Desloge, 107, 212-13; De Soto, 
232; Dixon, 69, 227; Doe Run, 10, 212; 
Doniphan, 228; Duenweg, 211; Dut- 
zow, 166;- Eldon, 227; Elvins, 212- 
13; Eminence, 52; Farmington, 68, 
108,172,213,227; Fertile, 94; Festus, 
214; Flat River, 79, 212-13; Forsyth, 
150; Franklin, 111-12, 129, 131, 132, 
i33""34; Fredericktown, 10, 68, 81, 
108, 172, 227; Galena, 228; Glasgow, 
3,226; Granby, 143 ff., 211; Grandin, 
180; Graniteville, 11, 213; Green- 
field, 105, 114; Hartville, 228; Her- 
culaneum, 125, 212; Hermann, 154, 
166, 170, 171, 216, 226; HoUister, 231; 
Humansville, 226; Iron Mountain, 
126 ff.; Ironton, 126, 137; Jackson, 
105, 227; Jefferson City, 53, 132, 134, 
139, 171, 216, 226; Joplin, 46, 143 ff., 
210-11, 216, 219; Kimmswick, 214; 
Knob Lick, 213; Koshkonong, 205; 
Lebanon, 139, 227-28; Licking, 202, 
222; Linn Creek, 144, 153, 228; Lodi, 
68; Mansfield, 28; Marble Hill, 31; 
Marionville, 226; Marshfield, 139, 
227-28; Meramec Spring, 5, 232; 
Midco, 182, 214; Mine a Breton, 79, 
81, 83, 84, 106, 123-24. See also 
Potosi; Mine La Motte, 76, 77, 81, 
94, 125; Mineral Point, 68; Monett, 
28, 205; Mount Vernon, 30, 226, 232; 
Murphy's, 107-8; Neosho, 66, 205, 
214, 226; New Bourbon, 80; New 
Franklin, 226; New Haven, 132, 226; 
New Offenburg, 167; Old Mines, 76- 
77,81,94; Oronogo, 145, 211; Osceola, 
143, 226; Owensville, 227; Pacific, 214; 
Paris Springs, 232; Patterson, 68; 
Perryville, 106, 227; Piedmont, 137; 
Pierce City, 214, 226; Pilot Knob, 
126 ff., 136; Pomona, 205; Poplar 
Bluff, 30, 137, 150, 221; Potosi, 68, 
79, 106, 107, 125, 135. See also Mine 
a Breton; Purcell, 211; Racine, 48, 
214; Richfountain, 218; Richland, 69, 
227; Richwoods, 68, 84; Rolla, 64, 




139, 144, 222, 227; St. Andrews, 107; 
Ste. Genevieve, 19, 77 ff., 106, 125, 
126-27, 129, 170, 213, 214, 227; 
St. James, 154, 227; St. Johns, 90; 
St. Marys, 106, 227; Salem, 228; 
Sarcoxie, 226; Selma, 125; Seneca, 48, 
228; Sligo, 182, 214; Springfield, 6, 

16, 27 ff., 67, 123, 139-40, 146, 153, 
204, 214, 216, 219-20, 226; Stqdiville, 
228; Sullivan, 227; Syenite, 213; 
Thayer, 205; Tipton, 227; Tuscumbia, 
218; Valle(y) Forge, 126; Valle 
Mines, 94; Van Buren, 50, 51; Ver- 
sailles, 64 [map], 227; Vienna, 69; 
Warsaw, 7, 26, 139, 141, 143, 218, 226; 
Washington, 132, 166, 169, 171, 216- 

17, 226; Waynesville, 52, 228; Webb 
City, 145, 211, 216; Westphalia, 167; 
Williamsville, 137; Willow Springs, 
228; Winona, 180; Wittenberg, 167; 
Zell, 167 

Clay, fire, 48, 215 

Clover, introduction of sweet and Japan, 

Coal, 48 

Commerce: centers, 225; early items, 
130, 141, 144; early routes, 133, 218; 
French, 87; river, 130 ff. 

Commons, 85 

Company of the West, 76 

Copper, 46, 47 

Corn, 86, 118, 141, 142, 191-92, 193 

Cotton, 120-21, 198 

Counties of Ozark Highland (applies only 
to textual references by name. See 
also Cities and geographic regions): 
Barry, 28, 58; Benton, 146; Bollinger, 
39, 184, 204: settlement, 102, 164-65; 
Callaway, 166; Camden, 13, 51, 155, 
192, 196; Cape Girardeau, 36, 39, 56, 
59, 65, 66, 119, 120, 128, I 29, 184, 192, 
196, 225: American settlement, 102 ff., 
Frenchsettlement, 88-89, German, 164- 
65, 167, 171; Carter, 153, 179, 180, 
189, 191-92, 196; Cedar, 146; Chris- 
tian, 138, 145; Cole, 118, 119, 129, 
167, 171-72; Cooper, 48, 53, 54 [map], 
118, 119-20, 129, 171-72, 188, 189-90, 
191-92, 193, 196, 198, 204, 225: 
settlement, 109-10; Crawford, 47, 
154-55, 161-62, 182-83: settlement, 
155; Dallas, 51, 146, 160: settlement, 
157; Dent, 39, 47; Douglas, 58, 158, 
180, 183, 200; Franklin, 46, 63, 118, 
119-20, 123, 193-94, 196, 200, 203: 
settlement, 109, 171-72; Gasconade, 

63, 170, 188: settlement, iii, 171-72; 
Greene, 19, 52, 146, 188, 189-90, 191- 
92, 195, 204, 225: settlement, 141 ff.; 
Hickory, 156 [map], 157; Howard, 48, 
109 ff.; Howell, 38, 54, 151 [note], 158- 
59, 189, 204-5: settlement, 156; Iron, 
44-45 [map], 182-83: settlement, 107- 
8; Jasper: agriculture, 146, 189-90, 
193; mining, 46, 49, 145-46, 209 ff.; Jef- 
ferson, 48, 123, 128-29, 171, 196, 199, 
203-4: settlement, 108-9; Laclede, 
189, 201; Lawrence, 16, 141, 172, 193: 
mining, 145-46, 209 ff.; McDonald, 
189; Madison, 129: mining, 46, 123 ff., 
209 ff., settlement, 108; Maries, 172, 
189; Miller, 13, 20, 38, 53, 55 [map], 
58, 162, 189; Moniteau, 118, 123-24; 
Morgan, 21, 124; Newton, 140, 143, 
189: mining, 48, 143-44, 209 ff., 
settlement, 138; Oregon, 20, 28, 38, 
51, 158, 160, 189, 198, 200, 204-5: 
settlement 155; Osage, 42 [map], 
43-44, 104 [map], 112, 167, 171-72, 
188, 192; Ozark, 57 [map], 153, 190, 
198; Perry, 39, 56, 59, 119, 129, 167, 
171, 192: settlement, 102, 105-6; 
Phelps, 47, 52, 154, 172; Polk, 9, 146, 
160, 196; Pulaski, 43 [maps], 44, 50, 
154, 157; Reynolds, 150, 179, 192, 
196: lumbering, 180-81, 184; Ripley, 
162, 183, 189, 190, 198, 200: settled, 
155; St. Charles, 109; St. Francois, 
10, 118, 121, 189: mining, 46, 49, 83, 
123 ff., 209 ff., settlement, 102, 107-8; 
Ste. Genevieve, 6, 8, 36, 46, 48, 65, 
118, 119, 129, 167, 171, 188; Shannon, 
20, 46, 51, 158, 162, 180-81, 189, 190; 
Stone, 18, 28, 158-59, 183; Taney, 
180, 190, 191-92, 198, 215; Texas, 
58, 153, 197, 204-5; Warren, 109, 
166 ff., 188; Washington, 58, 118, 
129, 215, 223: mining, 83, 123 ff.; 
Wayne, 59, 146, 183: settlement, 102, 
105, 155; Webster, 51, 143, 189, 204; 
Wright, 189, 204 

Counties, growth from nuclei, 108-9 

Courtois Hills, 68, 148 ff., 177-79, 191 

Creoles, 73, 78 

Current River, 13, 50, 68, 231 

Development: need of policy, 237; 

possibilities, 235 ff. 
Dissection, stage of, 22 
Distilleries, 129, 142 
Domed structure, 8 
Droughts, 33-34 



Duden, 166 ff. 
Du Tisne, 90 

Elevations, 6 

Environment, defined, viii 
Erosion, cycle of, 9 
Escarpment, 8, 66; Avon, 
ton, 66-69; Crystal, 15 

); Burling- 

Farms, sizes and values, 186. See also 

Crops and land 
Fish, 59-60, 117, 230 
Floats, 230-31 
Floods, 33, 50-51, 226, 228 
Flour milling, 87, 128-29, 142, 216 
Forests and trees: cedar, 17, 58; cypress, 

59; hardwoods, 58-59; need of policy, 

237; pine, 56-57 
Fort Chartres, 74, 79-80 
Fort Orleans, 89 
Fourche a Renault, 76 
Free range. See Grazing and grasses 
French: absorption of, 94^ area of 

influence, 93-94; character of stock, 

92-93; intermarriage, 91; language 

distribution, 94-95; royalists, 80-81; 

settlement, 73 ff. 
French Canadian^, 73, 93 
Fruit, 204 ff., 236 
Fur trade, 75, 88, 89-90 

Game, 59-60, 184, 230 

Gasconade River, 13, 23, 25-26, 37, 40, 

49, 50, 51, 53, 68-69, 115, 152-54, 218, 


Geographic regions, 61 ff. 

Geographic Society of Chicago, acknowl- 
edgments to, ix 

Geologic formations: Bonne Terre lime- 
stone and Davis shale, 13, 16, 39, 84; 
Burlington limestone of Boone chert, 
8, 15-16, 21, 36, 47, 63, 69; Gasconade 
and Potosi, 13-14, 16, 19, 23, 38, 64-65, 
68-69; Igneous, 10, 40, 47, 67; Jeffer- 
son City, 14-15, 17, 37, 38-39, 47; 
La Motte sandstone, 13, 16, 39; 
Roubidoux sandstone, 14, 39; St. Peter 
sandstone, 15, 39, 48 

Geological survey, creation of, 144 

Germans, 119, 122, 164 ff., 194, 199; ex- 
pansion, 171-72; immigration through 

New Orleans, 168; location on farms; 

168; religious separatists, 165 ff., 

upper class, 165-66 
Giessen Emigration Society, i66- 
Glades, 17, 39, 56, 58, 69 
Glass industry, 48, 214 
Goode, J. Paul, acknowledgments to, 

Gorges, 11 

Graduation x\ct, effect of, 158 
Grand Tower, note 131 

Grazing and grasses, 58, 86, 121, 141 ff., 
160-61, 185, 236 

Haha tonka, 20, 51, 232 

Hay, 196-97 

Hemp and flax, 120-21 

Historical geography, defined, viii 

Homestead Act, effects of, 160 

Hunting, 116, 184 

Indian titles, 100 
Industries, household, 162, 206 
Iron industry, 47, 126, 154, 214 
Iron Mountain, 47, 68, 126 ff. 

James River, 231 
Joachim Creek, 108-9 

Kansas City, 4, 146, 228, 230 
Kaolin, 48 

Kaskaskia, 74, 78, 79-80 
Kentucky, emigration from, loi ff. 
Kickapoo Prairie, 140 

La Motte, 76 

Land: clearing of, 189; promotion, 186; 
sales, 100, loi; values, 190 

Land grants, 76, 100; New Madrid re- 
locations, loi; Spanish, 97, loi 

Lead, 46, 52, 67, 75, 83-84, loi, 106, 
107, 123 ff., 143 ff., 209 ff. 

Lewis and Clark, 90 

Live stock, 56, 86, 89, 121-22, 122-23, 

141, 160-61, 185, 198 ff., 236 
Lochon, De, 76 
Lost hills, 26 



Loutre, 109, 119 

Lumbering, 142, 152, 179-80, 182 ff. 

Malaria, 93, 113 ff., 156 

Maple sugar, 87, 121 

Marble Cave, 18 

Maries River, 51, 68 

Marquette and Joliet, 74 

Meanders, 23 ff. 

Meramec River, 13, 23, 51, 60, 74-75, 76, 

89, 108-9 
Millet, 197 
Mining, 46, 83 ff., 123 ff., 143 ff., 152 ff., 

162, 209 ff. 
Mississippi River Border, 65-66, 73, 74, 

103 f., 178, 191, 192, 199 
Missouri River Border, 40, 62-63, 89-91, 

156, 178, 189, 191-92, 195, 199 

Neosho River, 138, 143 

New Madrid, 96 

New Orleans, 73, 97-98, 132 

Niangua River, 17, 68, 150 

Northern settlers, 146-47, 159 ff. 

Oats, 195 

Ohio River, 132-33 

Osage-Gasconade Hills, 68-69, ^77 

Osage River, 23, 24-25, 40, 49-50, 66, 

68-69, 90, 139, 142, 155-56, 159, 183. 

Ozark Center, defined, 61 
Ozark, origin of name, 5 [note] 

Park sites, 232 

Peneplain, 21 

Pennsylvania, emigration from, loi ff. 

Pilot Knob, lo-ii, 47, 68 

Pioneer life: character of stock, 102-3, 
140, 149, 159-60; choice of location, 
113; economy, 116; homesteading, 
115 ff.; occupations, 141; political 
attitude, 96; preservation of, 184 

Pomme de Terre River, 25, 66 

Population: city, 234; early distribution, 
97, 98, 99 [maps]; movement, 148; 
origin, 206-7 

Prairies, 53-54, 167; settlement, 115, 
140, 156-58; social conditions, 207-8 

Quarries, 213-14 

Railroads, 218 ff.; abandonment of, 221; 
Atlantic and Pacific, 146, 160; Cape 
Girardeau Northern, 220; early con- 
struction of, 134 ff.; Frisco (St. Louis 
and San Francisco), 4, 139, 146, 201, 
219 ff., 231; Illinois Southern, 221; 
logging, 180-81; Mississippi River and 
Bonne Terre, 212, 220; Missouri 
Pacific-Iron Mountain 127, 134 ff., 
146, 220-21; Missouri Southern, 221- 
22; Sligo and Eastern, 182, 221; 
Southwest Branch Pacific, 144 

Regional geography, defined, vii 

Renault, Sieur de, 76-77 

Resorts, 231-32 

Roads: building of, 223-24; early, 84, 
89, 133, 139; fords, 224; location of, 
223; and mining, 209 

Rope walks, 1 29 

Salisbury, R. D., acknowledgments to, 

Salt: springs, 48, 75, 81; works, 81-82, 

89, no 
Saltpeter, ^53 

St. Francois Region, 10, 44, 47, 50, 67- 
68, 103 ff., 177-78, 189 

St. Francois River, 13, 68, 231 

St. Louis, 4, 74, 120, 127-28, 134, 169. 
172-73, 228-29, 230 

Santa Fe trade, 122-23, 132 ff. 

Schools, condition of, 208 

Shut-ins, II ff. 

Slavery, 77, 80, 103, 119 

Soils: alluvial, 40-41, 169; bench lands, 
22; Berryville, 38-39, 70; Clarksville, 
38, 41-42, 45, 57, 65, 178, 179 [map]; 
Dent 39, 70; Fredericktown, 38-39, 
67, 107-8, 118: Hagerstown, 38-39, 
66, 100, 104 ff., 118 ff.; HoweU 38, 
42, 63, 70, 157, 189, 205; Iberia, 37, 
157, 169; Igneous rock, 11, 67; 
Lebanon, 41, 63, 70, 118, 157; Loess, 
40, 63, 66, 100, 118, 168-69, 170; 
Owensville, 41, 63; Pocahontas, 39, 
66; productivity, 118; Springfield, 36, 
41-42, 119, 142; Tilsit, 39, 64, 66; 
Union, 37, 63, 118; wheat soils, 

Solution features, 14, 18, 52, 65 

Sorghum, 197-98 

Spanish grants. See Land grants 



Springfield Plain, 19, 23, 66-67, 138 ff., 

178, 188, 189, 191 ff., 199, 219, 223 
Springs, 18-19, 49, 52 
Stone, building, 47, 67 
Stream: characteristics, 17, 23; life, 60 

Tanyards, 129, 142 

Taum Sauk, 6 

Tavern Creek, 37, 68 

Tennessee, emigration from, loi ff., 140, 

Tobacco, 119, 198 
Tornadoes, 28 

Tower, W. S., acknowledgments to, ix 
Town, projects, 11-12. See also Cities 

Tripoli, 48 

Truck and fruit, 204 ff. 

Upper Louisiana, District of, 74 

Valle, Francois, 79 

Virginia, emigration from, loi ff. 

Water power, 49-50, 68, 87, 162, 215, 236 

Wheat, 86, 118, 1935. 

White River, 15-17, 21-23, 53, 5^, 69-70, 

138-39, 143, 149-50, 177-78, 231 
Whitewater River, 25, 41, 103, 164-65 
Wine growing, 1 70 

Zinc, 45-46, 67, 209 ff. 


a, Pilot Knob, a noted porphyry elevation of typical!) >\ nmulrii al form 

b, Shut-in portion of St. Francois Valley in St. Francois County, a basin of soft 
sedimentary rocks, from which the river enters a difficult gorge in igneous rock. 


'•-^^-'^^i^ s 







^ •^ V '''• 




1 ^'''lfc**^>>^-i. 

me^^Ib ^^^b 

'0i^^-\ - 







a b 

At a shut-in near Hunt's Farm, Reynolds County 

c, Outlier of cherty limestone, probably Potosi, in the Farmington Basin 


a. Cedar glade, typical of chert-free limestone areas. Bonne Terre formation, 
Ste. Genevieve County. 

h. Spring at Waynesville, Pulaski County, issuing from base of clifJ of Gasconade 
cherty limestone. Near the top of the cliff is the opening of a cavern and below it 
are several cavernous openings. 


Frisco Railroad 

a, Little Piney Creek near Newburg. T3rpical scene of an Ozark stream, showing 
alternating pools and shoals, bars of chert fragments, and a wagon trace following the 
stream bed. 

h, Chert-floored bed of Roubidoux Creek at Waynesville 


a. Cave at Ozark. Missouri 

Frisco Rili/road 

b, Upland scene near Sullivan, Franklin County, showing characteristic even 
sky line of the Ozarks. 


a, Undissected upland south of Licking, Texas County, in the heart of the Ozarks 

i, Abandoned farm on Berryville soil, near Forsyth, Taney County 



























'c> a. 


a, Bluff on Big Pincy Fork of Ciasconude above Newtown, Pulaski County 


*>' - 

b, Bluff on James River below Galena 


a, Field in Howell soil near Ava, Douglas County 

b, Pasture and stone fence on Howell soil, near Ava, Douglas County 


/, \.<-K':~ slopes iouth ul JNlijiouri River, UabcuiuuL Luaiiij, 

b, Bottom field being undercut by Roubidoux Creek, Pulaski County. The 
corn (6 to g ft. high) is a measure of the depth of the alluvial soil above the level of 
the creek. 


a, Contrast in stoniness agreeing with contrasted exposure of slope. At right, 
the excessively stony slope faces south. In the middle distance, at the left, is a north- 
facing slope with little chert exposed upon it. Near Ava, Douglas County. 

Big Blue Spring, near Bourbon 





Mississippi River bluffs near :McCoy 


a, Rugged flint hills at Hahatonka, Camden County 

Fi-iuo Kai/i-o.ui 

b, On the western edge of the Central Plateau, Cedar Gap 


a. Floating out ties at Boss, on Huzzah Creek 

Frisco K.ii/r,ya,i 

b. Clearing land in Howell County 



a, Clearing south of Vienna, Maries County 

Frisco Rai/:vnd 

b, Cornfields near Lebanon, Laclede County 


Frisco Railroad 

a, Upland pasture near Bourbon, Crawford County 

Frisco Raiiroad 

b, Angora goats in Laclede County 


a, Horse Show at Licking, Texas County 

Frrsca Rai/road 

b, Apple orchard at Lebanon 


Frisco Railroad 

a, Picking peaches in southeastern Missouri 

Frisco Railroad 

b, Spring house near Sullivan 


I, Lug house in Big River Township, St. Francois County 

b, Log house and log smokehouse near Galena, Slone County 






Frisco Railroad 

Hill larin in Polk County 


3t^to^. ^_:., 


a, I'rairic larm iK-ar Sulli\aii, l-ranklin ( lumty 

b, Schlicht Springs iMill, Pulaski County 


a, Frisco Railroad approaching the Gasconade Valley from the east bv descending 
Little Piney Creek. 

b, Frisco Railroad, Kansas City-Memphis branch, located on divide between 
Gasconade and White River basins, at Cedar Gap. 


Friso: Rai/road 

a, Road along the crest of a flint ridge near Hahatonka 

Frisco Railroad 

b, Unimproved chert-surfaced road, characteristic of all parts of the Ozarks 
which have a cherty soil. 


a, Gullied road near Hermitage. The gully in the background at the left was 
the original road. The present road is at the right. Chert washed down from the 
gully has been spread over the lower slope in the foreground. 

h, Road south of Doe Run. The soil has been washed away and the sandstone 
bed rock exposed. Granite bowlders have rolled down from the upper slopes of the 
hill which this road ascends. 


Frisco Railroad 

a, Ford on Spring Branch, White River 

h, Road located along valley side, beyond reach of floods. The old road was 
located in the creek bottom and was often impassable because of floods or wash-outs. 


014 571 399 7 

My <